Welcome to the Mayfield Chapel Virtual Tour!
The 2016 General Chapter called on the Society to develop a deeper understanding of our Cornelian heritage. As part of that, we developed a virtual tour of Mayfield Chapel and other places important in the life of Cornelia and the Society.
We hope this virtual tour allows Mayfield to be a place of pilgrimage for people around the world.
The village of Mayfield in Sussex, England, is a significant place in the history of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus. St. Dunstan, who was Archbishop of Canterbury from 960 - 988, is credited with founding Mayfield Palace. In 1863, a party of nuns and pupils from the convent of the Holy Child Jesus at St. Leonards-on Sea enjoyed a picnic in the palace ruins, as was popular with locals.
The large villa and the historical association with the pre-Reformation Church inspired Cornelia Connelly to ask permission from the bishop to purchase the property. He refused, but Louisa Catherine Duchess of Leeds, a benefactor of the Society purchased it, and gave it to Cornelia on condition that the ruins be restored, which was a daunting project.
The first eight pupils came to the Villa on 17 September 1872, and today the site is still occupied by the Independent Roman Catholic School for Girls and by a small SHCJ community.
How to Take the Tour
We recommend that you read the User's Guide prior to entering the tour. Click the button at right to open and download the User's Guide.
Click on the Start Tour button at right. The best tour experience will be on a desktop or laptop computer.
Your Mayfield Experience
"Thank you for the virtual tour of Mayfield chapel. I think of the hundreds of us who began our religious life there as SHCJ. It has known our joys and sorrows and fun, too. It has witnessed our professions, first and final and for many, their funerals too."
- Philomena Grimley, SHCJ
"I so loved and enjoyed visiting my old stomping ground - that beautiful place where I was privileged to spend five years in residence. I'm so happy that you've made this special place available to so many who would have loved to visit it. I'm sure it will be loved by many!"
- Rosemarie Tedesco, SHCJ