A couple of years ago, two ladies who were original pupils of the school when it opened as The Holy Family of Nazareth Convent School in 1947 visited us. During their visit we spoke about the the history of the original school and during this I was informed that an old lead rainwater hopper had the date 1764 on it, giving us the date the Hall was constructed. Up until that point accepted wisdom was that the Hall was built around 1775 (by architect John Johnson). James Money had bought the estate at Pitsford in 1746 and a survey in 1763 suggested that the original building here then was not the present hall.
I did look for this hopper which used to be on the wall just above the flat roof that now is home to the weather station but alas it was there no more. Just last week I mentioned in assembly that we didn’t know exactly when the Hall was built, following which Mr Lewis told me that he had seen a date possibly (177?) on guttering on the weather station roof. He also said that he may have an early photograph taken of the weather station team that had the date in the background. Unfortunately the photograph had been cropped and the date was no longer visible.
Today I thought that maybe there would be matching hopper on the opposite side of the building so armed with a telephoto lens I managed to photograph the lead rainwater hopper from the far side of Moulton Road, and through the trees captured this shot.
This clearly shows the date 1764 and the initials JM which we can assume stands for James Money. The Hall is therefore 247 years old although it has been extended on a number ofÂ occasions, the first being in 1889 by Henry Lloyd who had bought the Hall 3 years earlier.