Fronz a Special Correspondent Ponsbourne Park, which was acquired in 1932 by the Dominican Sisters of the Congregation of St. Catherine, Newcastle, Natal, South Africa, has a very interesting history for Catholics.
The present house is a comparatively modern one, but the Old Ponsbourne House, which was pulled down in 1761, was originally built in the fifteenth century. A former owner discovered in the valley just below the present mansion the brick foundations of the original house about I/ feet below the surface of what is at present the boys' football field. This was the house built and owned by the Fortescues in the fifteenth century.
In 1539 the then owner, Sir Adrian Fortescuc, was beheaded on Tower Hill for refusing to recognise the King's supremacy as Head of the Church. This was Blessed Adrian Fortescue, The property passed through many hands after that, but once again it is in the hands of Catholics, where children are trained in that sanie faith for which one of the original owners died a martyr.
Ponsbourne Park is now an elementary boarding school.
There are many families where both parents must be out at business all day. The children of such parents can be taken at Ponsbourne, where they are carefully looked after and well educated. Children are taken from the age a three until fourteen years, and there are at present about 130 children at the school.
The house has been converted into a convent for the Sisters and a wing was added for the girls' and boys' refectories, The girls live in part of the main build
ing. The boys' dormitories are built a little distance from the convent on top of the school buildings, which are 450 feet above sea level. Beauty of environment is a feature of the school.
It stands in thirty acres of lovely wooded grounds which include a swimming p001, football and cricket fields, and a playing field for the girls.