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

Geotag Icon Show on map

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


27 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?

        • I was born September 21st 1945. in Cargo Fleet Road. I attended St. John’s School from 1950 to 1960, when i left to go to Brackenhoe Technical School. The clergy of St John’s were Rev, Palen,(Archdeacon) Rev Longworth Dames, the Rev H. Richardson (Vicar) and the following priests. J. K. Elstone and J. R Hambrige.

          • You’e 5 yrs older than me – so our paths probably never crossed. I knew all those clergy, though, except Palen. The Sunday school teacher was Mary Waring who some children had a difficult time with. She was a primary school teacher, too, at Archibald then Ayresome.

  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?

    • Do you know anything of the Cooper family who lived in Erdley Villa between your family and the Holy Rood nuns.
      Arthur Cooper was my great grandfather, an Ironmaster in Middlesborough steel works.
      Any info would be most welcome.
      Best wishes

  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

    • I believe Douglas Ludlow Cooper must have been related as he was registering a number of new cars and motor cycles (DC reg) from Erdley in the early 1900’s.

  6. Oh thank you for this. My middle name is Ludlow and I believe after the above. been trying to trace a bit more on the Cooper side family, other relatives in the present. There was a split betweem families after marriage breakdown between Florence Cooper youngest daughter of Arthur Cooper and David Hughes of Plas Uchaf, Llanfaethlu, Anglesey – the grandfather I knew on my mother’s side.
    Richard Cooper Hughes, and my mother Florence Anne Ludlow Hughes were the children of the said marriage. They were very young and never saw their mother again.
    Severance. Its been a heartrending story. There was a reuniting between Florence Cooper and my mother many many years later.
    Any info on the Coopers would bemost welcome. Thank you

    • I am also a grand-daughter of Arthur Cooper! My grandmother was Beatrice, his oldest daughter. I believe my mother met your mother in Scotland when she discovered her long lost cousin who had been traced because of a complicated will.

  7. Drove past Erdely today and noticed all the downstairs windows are boarded up with metal shutters and grass at the back long and neglected so no doubt another iconic Middlesb rough building will soon be raised to the ground

    • Oh that is so sad. It was such a lovely home to my Cooper family lineage after the Hornung’s and subsequently the nuns ‘family’.
      Buildings may fall, but love goes on. Happy days.

  8. Really!? so the building is stiill there? I walked down Marton Road last Boxing Day and thought the building had been erased to make new houses/flats. I must have forgotten what it looks like, after 60 years.

    • Yes still there (for now at least) set back back next to the new flats/houses which belong to a housing association and were built in the former grounds of the house. Incidentally I worked there from the early eighties to mid nineties when it was a hostel for ex offenders. Some interesting times. Some of the rooms had the original plaster mouldings around the ceilings and above doorways, also a grand front staircase and spartan one at the back no doubt for the servants.

  9. Oh yes, I remember the grand front staircase from Christmas parties that the nuns put on for children in the 1950’s. We used to be allowed up it to play hide and seek. I also remember the ham sandwiches they provided for the tea, which I hated because they had mustard in.

  10. Has anyone got any photos or info to where I might find any of the original Erdley Villa and grounds. I have family history interest.
    Thank you!

  11. I have some info in my memory, but no photos, from when I visited Erdley as a child in the 50s. Let me know if that would be useful

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.