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St Bede's Church


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2 hours ago, Canny lass said:

I was wondering if that was the door Symptoms was referring to. I thought that the priests lived to the west of the RC church but I could be wrong. I don't know much about Catholic Row - but would like to. It has a little niche in my research.

As I said earlier, I was at one wedding there and as a Girl Guide I was once in the catholic school at some joint event in the very early 60s. It lay behind the church away from the road. I'm wondering if the photo of the two priests is taken in front of the school? The gate to the left suggests it might be. I have two photos taken in front of the church and both show it as stone-built.

@Symptoms kind sir, could you give us any description of the church (outside) or the street itself at the time of your 'fruit picking'? It would be a great help.

@Canny lass & @Symptoms - this as far West on Catholic Row I can get with Google street view.


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Eggs and Canny - that arched doorway looks about in the right position for access to the Priest's home;  I do recall it being almost opposite to the Police Station 'backyard' entrance.  As I said earlier my Dad was friends with the boss Monk and had rented some land from the Church at the end of Catholic Row to erect a garage, this would have been the late 1950s to early 1960s.  The bit of land was beyond all the buildings (there appears to be a car park there now according to Google Street View) and was bounded by Catholic Row on one side and a very high sandstone wall at the back … the famous orchard was on the other side of this wall. This garage was a sectional/modular steel frame/asbestos sheet construction that I helped my Dad to erect on the site – asbestos!!!;  he bought it via an advert in Exchange and Mart*.  Anyway, we would often walk along Catholic Row to the garage to get the car out and would meet the boss Monk;  on a couple of occasions I accompanied my ‘old man’ into the Manse when they’d have a dram and I’d be offered a dandelion and burdock drink, so I have a clear memory of this local geography (in addition to orchard commando raids).  The Manse was a building behind that one with the door and access was through that building (it was a large hall);  I recall the Priest’s house was quite a large, red brick building – quite grand really!  Anyway,  my clear recollection of Catholic Row was of a  dark and gloomy road with the church buildings forming an unbroken row of dirty cement rendered buildings – there was no gap (where the present church is) as this is the place where the ‘old’ church was.  I’ve attached a very grainy snip of an aerial photo which, if you squint, you can make out the boss Monk’s house, etc.  Obviously, all that original cement render must have been replaced with the pebbledash when the new church was built and the other church buildings renovated.

* for our younger viewers the Exchange and Mart was a weekly national for sale listing publication ... a bit like Amazon but with grubby newsprint.


Edited by Symptoms
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18 hours ago, Vic Patterson said:

Toon 2 Leicester 1

3 of our children + 1 in-law + 1 grandson + 2 great grandsons present during the game I was watching, and naturally tearing myself away from it to discuss what Pokermon levels and creatures/animals/strange named beasts had been found. The OH didn't help by continually walking in front of me with hot drinks and lumps of her vegan cakes. 

Naturally I was more interested in Pokermon:rolleyes: - watched the last 30mins on the recorded match at lunch time today.:thumbsup: 

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Thanks for your input Symptoms. It answered a lot of questions and created even more! The cement rendering explains why I was thinking it was stone built. The rendering must have been scored to make it look like stone blocks. I don't suppose you could say exactly where that doorway by the two priests was located? I have a photo of my mother at the same door but, as I said,it looks like stone. Myself, I can't remember it at all.

I'm still rummaging through the census records. The fruit trees you mention may have belonged to a market garden. 1891, 1901 and 1911 there is a 5 roomed property (Rose Villa)next door to the presbytery and the occupier (different at each census) is always a gardener/market gardener).

It seems to have been an area of mixed class. Catholic Row consisted basically of 12, 1 - 2 room terrassed houses where 1 room could accomodate a family of 6 and even find room for a lodger! On the other hand there were a couple of 5 room properties with only two people living 'by own means'. One, 'Lydia Luxon' ,who was in 5 rooms 1891, down-sized to two rooms in 1901 and was still there in 1911. Claims to be married but there is never any sign of a husband. She's definitely sparked an interest! Then there's Mr Beadnell, a 'grocer's cartman'. I wonder if it was him ho eventually had the shop at the top-end?

Thanks again! I may have more questions for you as I dig deeper.

Edited by Canny lass
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