THE fascinating life story of Sister Elfrieda, who went on to become Mother Superior of Malvern’s Convent of the Holy Name has come to light, thanks to research by local historian Dave Hodgson.

He was responding to an appeal for memories of the convent, which was founded in 1879 and was home to around 250 nuns and novices in its heyday before closing in 1989.

The appeal is being made in association with Broadway Heritage which has converted the Grade Two listed building into apartments.

Mr Hodgson, from Coddington, was researching the history of an orphanage across the way from the convent, when he came across two old letters.

It was from the late Henry Brownrigg and written to the Provincial Superior of the order, now based in Derby, enquiring about his great-aunt, Sister Alfrieda.

“She must have been a very wealthy woman having inherited an extremely grand house, near Cerne Abbas in Dorset where she lived with a lady companion,” he wrote.

“In her youth she was a keen golfer and also went each winter, as was then the fashion, to Monte Carlo where she patronised the casino.”

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Mr Brownrigg told how his great-aunt was also very religious and he speculated that she might have been influenced to give up her wealthy way of life by an Anglican father.

“Family tradition has it that she did not lose all her old ways and that on finding herself on a golf course in later life, she could not restrain herself from showing a young man how to putt properly,” he said.