Our History

  • 1871

    Werneth Grange is a listed heritage building. It was built as a family home in 1871 for Joseph Lees, a local cotton magnate. The building is a great example of Gothic style and has fine interiors to match the beauty of the building. The internal woodwork and staircase are incredibly detailed, with stained glass used throughout the main part of the house and a Minton tiled floor in the central hallway.

  • 1907

    The building was purchased for the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy and the building work started to adapt it to its new purpose. A new wing was created containing the Chapel, refectory and school rooms, added on the former site of the stables and coach house, and built to match the style of the original building. Oak panelling for the new Chapel was relocated from the beautiful Chapel in Cardinal Street.

  • 1909

    The Convent of Mercy was solemnly blessed by his Lordship Rt Rev Dr Casartelli, the Bishop of Salford, on 16th October.

  • 1911

    The building next door to Werneth Grange called Fernholme was purchased to allow the convent to open a boarding and day school.

  • 1939

    The Fernholme building was used as a war time nursery and the school teaching was moved into the main Werneth Grange building.

  • 1963

    Centenary celebrations of the Sisters of Mercy in Oldham were held at Werneth Grange on 18th May, led by Bishop Beck who opened the new St Catherine’s Wing to provide nursing care for elderly sisters.

  • 1978

    The Sisters celebrated the bicentenary of the birth of the Venerable Catherine McAuley, who founded the Sisters of Mercy in 1831.

  • 1983

    The school at Werneth Grange closed after many decades of teaching to allow the sisters to focus on their nursing endeavours.

  • 2018

    The property was purchased by St. Mark Universal Care and our renovation project began, bringing new life to the building and preserving it for future generations.

  • Werneth Grange opened as a youth and community centre, providing spaces for local charity and community to groups to use. Our regular youth events started, making use of our wonderful gardens.