Erdely Villa / Convent of the Holy Rood, Middlesbrough. Home of E W Hornung

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Erdely Villa is located at 404 Marton Road.
Erdely Villas, Holy Rood Convent, Middlesbrough

It was the childhood home of of E. W. Hornung the creator of Raffles – The Gentleman Thief.  His father was Hungarian born iron and coal merchant John Peter Hornung. (Erdely is the Hungarian name for Transylvania)

I’ve been told he was actually born at Cleveland Villas which was next door, but even his descendants didn’t seen sure of that when they visited the town last year.

Quote from Bernard Hornung

BH: It is my first time and I have never been to Middlesbrough before. I travelled up from London yesterday. But there is a dual purpose for my visit and that is we cannot be certain where E W Hornung was born because it was at the time when the family was moving out of Cleveland Villas to Erdley. We don’t know whether he was born in Cleveland Villas or whether he was actually born at Erdley. But one thing is for certain and that is that on 23rdFebruary 1886 my great grandmother gave birth to my grandfather, Bernard Hornung, after whom I am named. So I am certain that at least one Hornung was born at Erdley and that was my grandfather and I am very proud of that as well.

Between 1924 to 1979 the building was the Convent of the Holy Rood, I believe its now offers temporary accommodation for ex-offenders.

Outside the villa is a cross in memory of Edith Mary Cordeux of Brierley who donated Hodroyd Hall to the Convent of the Holy Rood of Middlesbrough

Memorial to Edith Mary Cordeux, Holy Rood Convent, MiddlesbroughMemorial to Edith Mary Cordeux, Holy Rood Convent, Middlesbrough


11 thoughts on “Erdely Villa / Convent of the Holy Rood, Middlesbrough. Home of E W Hornung

  1. Pingback: Hidden Teesside » Blog Archive » Gates and Gatehouse to Grove Lea / Bishop’s House, Marton Road, Middlesbrough

    • I remember the Mother Superior and a number of the sisters attending the main service on Sunday morning at my parish church, which was St. John the Evangelist where I was a choir boy and then became a server. The order relocated to Thirsk and was eventually closed.
      I hope this information is of some help to you.
      Michael Sullivan

      • My father was the GP for the nuns at Holyrood in the 1950s. I remember going to Christmas parties there, and we knew well a couple of the nuns (who left the order by the end of the decade). We also attended St John the Evangelist church – were you around at the same time as us, Michael?

  2. Does anyone know of a relationship between this order and the Convent of the Holy Rood, at 17 Malvern Road, Holbeck, Leeds from around 1870? My Great Grandmother was orphaned in Middlesbrough and appeared in the Leeds Orphanage of that name in the 1871 census.

  3. E.W. Hornung was NOT born at Erdely – he was born at Cleveland Villas, Marton, a short distance to the south, at a time when Erdely was still being built. The family moved into Erdely when it was completed a few months later, and it was indeed his much-loved childhood home.

  4. The Love Middlesbrough website gives some good pictures.

    Today I noticed the impressive house on Marton Road and wondered about its history. A look at the 1901 6″ map shows the property and garden.

    I assume the green plaque was attached after the birthday visit, however today 7 months after the visit there is no sign of it on the gatepost of 404 Marton Road, lost or never fitted, or fitted out of sight?

  5. After John Peter Horung’s death in 1886, Erdley Villa was owned by Arthur Cooper, my great grandfather who was a noteable ironmaster. He was honoured with a degree of LL.D. by Leeds University in recognition of his outstanding achievements.
    See ref in booklet The Grove Hill ‘Aristocracy’ researched and written by Paul Stevenson.
    ISBN 1-904683-06-1

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