Opened as a convent school in 1872
Originally the school site was part of the Stanford Estate and in the 1870s it was leased out to Edward King, who used the site as a market garden to supply fresh salad and vegetables to the local Brighton market.
Convent school opened in 1872
The nuns of the Sacred Heart order were granted permission by the Bishop to set up their convent and school on the south coast of England. The Hove site suited their needs perfectly as it was a green field site located outside Brighton and Hove, secluded and secure from the bustle of the city. Building work started in 1870 and the convent and school were opened in 1872.
New wing in 1901
The nuns themselves supervised the building work and the local community would comment, as the nuns walked up what was then called Nunnery Hill, that they were building their own prison. The nuns were responsible for the landscaping of the site, and the planting of the trees that adorn the school today. In 1901 a new wing was added to the school to accommodate another convent from Beauvais in Northern France. The CG6 wing was built as a complete school. The French nuns, students and all of their belongings were moved into this building.
First Catholic comprehensive school in Sussex
The nuns eventually left Hove in 1966 as Brighton was becoming too ‘racey’. The site and buildings were acquired by the Diocese, and the De La Salle Brothers took over the running of the school until they moved out in 1971. Bishop David Cashman was the guiding force behind the establishment of the first Catholic comprehensive school in Sussex.
Adapting to modern needs
The school was the amalgamation of De La Salle, an independent Grammar School, Cottesmore Secondary Modern School, Lourdes Convent, Blessed Sacrament Convent, and eventually the Fitzherbert School became part of the new Cardinal Newman Catholic School. A large building programme was put in place to adapt the school to the needs of a modern comprehensive school. This process has continued throughout the life of the school culminating in the opening of The Sacre Coeur Learning Centre in 2005.