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.