WHP Site History

The following historical account was compiled and written by Fintan Duffy of dhbArchitects during the project research phase

The following is the building’s evolution over its lifespan:

1841 3rd February; the lease is drawn up for lands from Wyse to Meagher in which the convent is to be situated.

1842 Work begins on the convent.

1848 On the 3rd of May, eleven nuns move from Hennessey’s Road to the Convent.

1850 The Convent is in financial crisis and the building is incomplete, particularly the chapel.

1861 City-wide appeal by Dr. James Vincent Cleary for funds to complete the chapel. On Sunday 9th of June a collection is taken at the doors of all the churches in the city of Waterford.

1863 Chapel is consecrated by Bishop Dominic O’ Brien on the feast of the Finding of the Holy Cross.

1866 On the 21st of April, completion of the stained glass windows.

1873 The order’s 75th anniversary, earliest recorded community photograph.

1880 The school comes under National Board jurisdiction, first register of pupils kept.

1898 The centenary year; a new infant school building is commenced in the grounds. (This corrugated sheeting building was demolished in 1980).

1930’s Old Saint Mary’s as it was then called (the current main entrance foyer) is still in use. Alterations are noted, with the addition of partitions.

1938 New stone school built and ready to be for occupation– currently the adjoining office building.

1964 Saint Mary’s school is vacated and extensive alterations are carried out, obscuring the current volume and structure in the process. Extensive changes are made to the stone gable .

1970 On the 11th of October work begins on a new secondary school on the adjoining site (Cannon Street Road).

2006 The Presentation Order sells the building.

2009  Dr. Mark Rowe, Ms. Edel Rowe & Dr. Ita Creavin refurbished and extended the former convent and it is opened as a multidisciplinary primary care centre. The new facility is known as  Waterford Health Park.