Adelphi House - The Crescent - Salford

If you approach Adelphi House from behind, as you walk along Adelphi Street, it appears to be a modern brick building.  When you come around to the front that faces the Crescent you are confronted with its Georgian façade.  Unfortunately, the façade is all that is left of the 19th century building.  Adelphi House was built in 1808 as a two-storey home by Samuel Bury, its occupant for 28 years.  In 1836 it was sold to John Leeming.

Over the years Bury's 2-storey house underwent numerous redesigns and additions.  In 1853 the nuns of the Order of the Faithful Companions of Jesus moved into the house.  Their order had been founded in France but moved to England in 1830 settling first in the area near today's Euston Station in London.  The mission of the nuns was to, "reach out to the spiritually and materially deprived by means of education", and to that end they converted the house into a convent and a school.  As Sr. Frances Heaton F.C.J. explains in the account of the "Adelphi House Convent F.C.J. - The School by the Irwell" - " ... the Sisters took up residence in Adelphi, bringing with them the pupils of the Middle School who formed the nucleus of the Day School which soon prospered. Some of the pupils came from the nearby houses on Adelphi Terrace, while a number of them were the daughters of doctors who practised in the nearby Salford and Pendleton Dispensary (later known as the Salford Royal Hospital). Side by side with the Day School the nuns opened a boarding school, and for many years the two functioned happily under the same roof."

Over the years the nature of the school changed and at one point it also became a training college for Catholic teachers.  These changes fed an ongoing need for accommodation and the school spread into a number of nearby houses on Adelphi Terrace and a third-storey was added to the house.  The school continued to operate through two World Wars although in 1939 at the outbreak of WWII the children and staff were evacuated to Accrington but they made a quick return in 1940.  "But the Christmas holidays had only just begun when at eight o'clock on the night of the 23rd December, the blast of a land mine which fell on the opposite side of The Crescent, damaged both the convent and school severely, rendering them uninhabitable. The community took refuge in Sedgley Park College where they remained for twenty-seven years, travelling in daily to Adelphi and the nearby schools. The convent, partially restored, was used for three years as a Nurses' Home, by those serving in Salford Royal Hospital."

Below is an image, shown with the permission of Salford University Library, from 1954 when it was a girl's grammar school.

The Adelphi House School continued to operate in a variety of forms until 1977 when Comprehensive Education was introduced for all Catholic children in Salford.  It resulted in the closure of the school as it merged with the Sacred Heart School to form the new Cathedral High School. The nuns continued to live at Adelphi and the school building was used as a part of the Cathedral High School.

Today, Adelphi House is part of the University of Salford's campus.  However, the university has a long term plan to address the fact that a number of its buildings are old and unfit for purpose.  They are also spread out and often cut off by busy roads and other barriers to pedestrian flow.  Adelphi House has been identified as one of the buildings that are liabilities rather than assets and likely to be disposed of as the university consolidates its campus around Peel Park and Media City.