1929 Opening of Additions

1929 5 2 Dominican Nuns New Link The opening of the additions in 1929, with a very detailed description of the new building.





Overlooking the Hunter River, and situated in spacious grounds comprising seven acres in area, the new secondary and boarding school erected for the Dominican nuns at their convent, “San Clemente”, at the corner of Crebert and Havelock Streets, Mayfield, will be blessed and opened on Sunday afternoon by the Right Rev. Dr. P.V. Dwyer, Bishop of Maitland.

The head house of the Dominican nuns in Australia is at West Maitland, and it is now more than 10 years since the Mayfield branch of the order was opened. During that time the work of the school has steadily grown, and the increase in the number of pupils has been such that the building of the secondary and boarding school became imperatively necessary.


The building, which is in Romanesque style, is an important addition to the architectural beauties of the district. It is of three stories and a basement, constructed of brick, and roofed with purple-brown tiles. The main entrance has a stately and dignified appearance. On each side of the main door, to which lead steps of black and white terrazzo, is a handsome column, in freestone, crowned with Corinthian caps and mouldings, and, in the arch, which is supported by these columns, is provided a niche for a statue. The main façade is carried out in red-faced brick with black brick dressings. Each side of the main façade is crowned by a freestone cross with a suitable base, and at the apex of the building is a larger cross, also in freestone.

On the ground floor are the vestibule, the reception room 30ft by 20ft, three class rooms, one 39ft by 35ft, and the two others 36ft by 20ft, and the boarders’ dining-room 42ft 8in by 20ft. On either side of the main entrance is a cloister, 50 by 10ft, and carried out in rich brickwork, and on the south and west sides are verandahs 8ft in width. All are floored with ironite. On the same floor are four music rooms, the laundry, and other conveniences. In the basement, there are two rooms, each 19ft by 9ft, which are to be used as a kindergarten. At the rear of the reception room is a court-yard with ironite floor, 30ft by 19ft.


Four dormitories are situated on the first floor, two 44ft by 20ft, and two 30ft by 20ft, an on this floor is also a room 15ft by 14 ½ ft, known as the infirmary quarters, for the accommodation of sick children, and adjoining it is a kitchenette, equipped with electric cooking appliances. Two smaller rooms are also on this floor, in addition to ample bathroom accommodation with electric heaters. A balcony on the same floor leads to a flat roof, 43ft by 30ft.

The top floor consists of a dressing-room, 80ft by 20ft, fitted with marble-topped dressing tables, and presses for the children’s use. A goods lift that travels from the ground floor to the top floor has been installed. A maple staircase leads from the ground floor to the second floor, and there are concrete stairs from the first to the second floor, while concrete escape stairs are also provided at the rear. Ample light and ventilation has been provided in the building, which has been fitted with electric heaters throughout. A new main entrance has been made to the grounds from Havelock street. The architect is Mr. T.W. Silk, and the contractor Mr. T. Burg, both of West Maitland.

"Dominican Nuns - new Mayfield school". Newcastle Morning Herald, 2 May 1929.