Another look at the Convent and its Doors

This is a continuation of my walk last Sunday at the Abbotsford Convent. Aside from windows and public art, I also found so many doors.

Founded by The Sisters of the Good Shepherd in 1863, there are 11 buildings in this site.

Built in 1887, this building was primarily used as a ‘finishing school’ for women who voluntarily admitted themselves to the Abbotsford Convent. Girls were trained for service and ‘kept from adversity’. Originally, dormitories were upstairs, although over time, typing was taught in those rooms.*

This is the first building on the left upon entering the grounds.

The Convent building was where most of the Sisters, novices (nuns-in-training) and postulants (women commencing life as nuns) lived. *

Today, the Convent building houses artist studios, wellbeing spaces, food kiosks, creative businesses and St Heliers Street Gallery.

The Magdalen Asylum, or Sacred Heart, was a refuge and penitentiary for destitute young women, mainly as a result of poverty, family dysfunction, dislocation following migration, and lack of welfare and mental health services. Laundry work was regarded as a suitable occupation for these women, as it required little training and fully occupied the mind and body.*

Now, the Magdalen Laundry is used for contemporary artistic works and for community use.

Designed by JB Denny and built in 1868, the Industrial School is the oldest surviving building within the Convent grounds. *

This spaces can now be hired for varied indoor and outdoor creative projects.

The huge metal gate to exit the convent.

Here are the exterior doors of the convent going to the car park.

Description of the buildings were taken from google –

I spired by Dan’s Thursday Doors Challenge


  1. It’s a beautiful place.

    1. Teresa says:

      Thanks you…it is beautiful and so much history. Thanks for stopping by.

      1. Tanja says:

        Interesting building

        1. Teresa says:

          Thanks Tanja.

  2. Dan Antion says:

    I am glad the grounds and buildings remain standing. Although I usually say something about its former function being lost, I’m kind of glad the laundry is no longer in operation. I love the details in the brick and the interior shots are very nice. Thanks for bringing us along with you, Teresa.

    1. Teresa says:

      It is sad to think of what times were like before but it is also wonderful to know that this convent can still be of great use in the present times. Thanks Dan.

  3. maristravels says:

    I’m still catching up after my absence from blogging and I really enjoyed this one, Teresa. You certainly have found some doors here!

  4. Teresa says:

    Glad that you are back. Were you on holidays? I can’t seem to log into your account. But thanks for stopping by Maris.

  5. Amy says:

    Wonderful selections of the doors. Such an enjoyable walk. 🙂

    1. Teresa says:

      Thanks a lot Amy ❤️ It was confusing… so many doors!

  6. Toonsarah says:

    An interesting history. There has been quite a scandal about the Magdalene laundries in Ireland ( – is that the case over there too?

    1. Teresa says:

      I am not a 100% sure if something like that happened as well. I just know that it started out helping ladies, women and girls, but they were not given any money and were given education only until
      They were 14.

      1. Toonsarah says:

        You would probably have heard if it had, so hopefully not 🙂

        1. Teresa says:

          I am asking Ali, maybe she might know.

  7. dennyho says:

    An interesting backstory to your convent photos.

    1. Teresa says:

      It is nice to know the back story every time. Thanks Denny.

  8. scooj says:

    A really fabulous set of doors, and interesting location.

    1. Teresa says:

      Thanks Scooj. ❤️

  9. Alison says:

    Wonderful Teresa, I loved this place and it’s great they’ve kept the original architecture and it’s now used for the greater good, and has absolved itself of past wrongdoings. Those nuns had a lot to answer for

    1. Teresa says:

      Yes that is true…the initial intention was great. And it is used for the good now. It is the in between that maybe it went a little side tracked. Do you know more about the gossipabout the place?

      1. Alison says:

        Only what I’ve read about the Magdalen laundries, how cruel the nuns were and how they raked in so much money

        1. Teresa says:

          Oh is that so? Maybe I didn’t get to that part yet haha Thanks Ali for the comment.

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