Saint Joseph's Roman Catholic School
In 1948, Croome Court, by then vacant, was sold by the Croome Estate Trustees to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham.
It was fitted out as a boarding school for boys and had about 140 pupils from all over the country.
The school occupied the whole of the court, the Red Wing and the stable block, with classrooms, dormitories and chapel. Pershore Lodge (also known as London Lodge), near the main entrance to Croome Court, was also used to house nuns who taught at the school.
The court’s Long Gallery served as the school’s refectory with food brought up from a kitchen in the basement by means of a ‘dumb-waiter’. When the nuns weren't looking, some of the boys used the dumb waiter as a lift to the ground floor with contraband biscuits.
The boys used the field on the north side of the court as their sports ground, storing their outdoor shoes in purpose-built wooden racks in the basement.
In 1962, during the school’s tenure, a section of the M5 motorway was constructed, slicing through the Croome estate. Four of the boys tried to escape from Croome on bicycles on the M5 and were brought back by the police.
The school continued at Croome until July 1979, when operations were combined with nearby Besford Court, where older boys were taught. In recent years, the former pupils have held reunions and keep in regular touch.
A small exhibition telling the story of the boys school is on display on the first floor.
In March 2017 there was an opportunity to join some former pupils of St. Joseph's school as they shared their experiences. The tour encompassed the bottom three floors of the property and explored the Red Wing.
These tours proved extremely popular and we are hoping to run them on a regular basis each month, to see the date of the next tour visit our What's On pages. Ask at the Court entrance if you would like to be included in the tour.