OLD EAST STONEHOUSE
Webpage created: February 11, 2018
Webpage updated: March 31, 2018
|OLD EAST STONEHOUSE.UK|
ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH OF SAINT MARY THE BLESSED VIRGIN
The Roman Catholic Church of Saint Mary was situated in Saint Mary Street, East Stonehouse, Plymouth. It's full dedication was to the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint John the Evangelist but it was usually known simply as Saint Mary's.
The first gatherings of Roman Catholic worshippers in the Plymouth area took place in a loft behind the Prince George Inn in Fore Street, Plymouth Dock, under the supervision of Father Thomas Flynn. Father Flynn attended two of the sailors who were shot on Plymouth Hoe in 1797.
When his successor, L'Abbe Jean Louis Guilbert, was appointed in 1803, he set about building a permanent place of worship. This he achieved largely through the generosity of a Mr Rowland Conyers, who had set up a trust to assist the South West's seamen. Conyers purchased the site to the south of the East Stonehouse Union Workhouse and north of Union Place and the Roman Catholic Church of Saint Mary was opened on Sunday December 20th 1807.
In 1838 Father Henry Riley made extensions to the Church and also acquired an adjoining building on the south side for use as a school.
When the Bishop's House at the newly built Roman Catholic Cathedral of Saint Mary and Saint Boniface was first occupied in 1857, the teachers of the schools at Saint Mary's and at Devonport moved to the Cathedral, where the body of the building was turned into a boys' school under Mr Keane and Mr Abernethy, and the galleries were transformed into a girls' school under the supervision of Miss King and Miss Pryor.
The Roman Catholic Church of Saint Mary was then remodelled and given over to the Little Sisters of the Poor until they moved to the Saint Joseph's Home at Tor Lane, Hartley, in 1884, after which it was put to other uses and known as Regent Buildings. They were demolished in 1960.