The Bodhisattva KMC Historic House
The building started as Wick Lodge and was built in the early 19th Century. It was a square building with its main entrance on the north side. This entrance is now part of the entrance hall. It was a family home until about 1900.
At this time the building was extended to include the lounge and the meditation room to the north and the kitchen area. It also stopped being a family home and started to be used as a school.
There were various schools here - St Michael’s Hall, Holland House Prep School and Claremont Prep School – until 1947 when the Order of the Poor Servants of the Mother of God took over the building and it became known as St Anne’s Convent. The Family Wing to the north of the building was added in the 60’s. So the building today has a Georgian part to the south, a Victorian section in the middle and a modern extension to the north.
The nuns ran a children’s home in the building until May 1983 when the emphasis in childcare shifted from residential care to fostering. Then they started caring for homeless women. There was residential accommodation as well as a day centre.
By April 1994, there were too few nuns to continue running the centre so they decided to put the main building up for sale and move to a smaller building on Lansdowne Road where they still live.
The convent was then squatted for a while – the largest squat in England at the time – until the nuns evicted the squatters. Before the squatters finally left, a group of them trashed the place removing anything of value. This meant that developers were no longer interested in the property and the price came down and that we could afford to buy it.
In July 1997, the Bodhisattva Centre moved from its house in Vernon Terrace to this building and started a 10 year renovation programme of the building and garden. We have recently renovated the Protector Meditation Room with a purpose-built shrine cabinet and glorious statues.