St Mary's Convent, Handsworth
St Mary's Convent entrance
|Full name||St Mary's Convent, Sisters of Mercy, Handsworth|
|Order||Sisters of Mercy|
|Dedicated to||Blessed Virgin Mary|
|Important associated figures||John Hardman|
|Heritage designation||Grade II* listed|
|Location||Lozells, Birmingham, England|
St Mary's Convent is a house for the community of the local Sisters of Mercy in Birmingham. Although it is situated between the Lozells and Hockley parts of the city, the community also serves the parish in Handsworth. It was founded in 1840 and was designed by Augustus Pugin. On 25 April 1952 it was designated as a Grade II* listed building by English Heritage.
They set up a convent with the help of many interested parties. John Hardman of Hardman & Co. who lived opposite donated the land for them. The cost of building the convent was met by Hardman and the Earl of Shrewsbury who donated £2000. They then commissioned Augustus Pugin to design the building for them.
St Mary's Church
In 1845, with the local Catholic population increasing, the convent chapel was no longer large enough to accommodate the congregation. So they decided to build a larger church next to the convent.
In July 1847, St Mary's Church was opened and consecrated by Bishop William Wareing. After St Francis of Assisi Church was built opposite the convent in 1894, St Mary's Church became the convent chapel.
However, St Mary's Church was destroyed during World War Two and not rebuilt. The site of the church is now occupied by St Francis Catholic Primary School. The school has a close relationship with the convent next door who have a representative on the school's board of governors.