19th- and 20th-Century Convents and Monasteries

Introductions to Heritage Assets

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Between the middle of the 19th century and the earlier 20th, convents and monasteries were built in large numbers for the re-established Roman Catholic Church and also for new Church of England communities. The arrival of these new institutions coincided with the ‘true’ gothic revival, based on the authentic historical appreciation of medieval buildings and modern constructional logic.

Some of the highest-regarded monastic buildings are gothic revival ones, and in particular the design and fitting out of convent and monastery chapels, and the emphasis on communal living inspired by the Middle Ages, have left a vivid picture of one particular aspect of Victorian life.

This short guide provides an introduction to the history and development of convents and monasteries built in England, principally for Roman Catholic communities, from the late 18th century.


1. Historical background
2. Chronology and development of the building type
3. Associations
4. Change and the future
5. Further reading
6. Acknowledgements

Additional Information

  • Series: Guidance
  • Publication Status: Completed
  • Pages: 24
  • Product Code: HEAG129


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