History

The Carmelite Monastery of the Most Holy Trinity, situated in St Charles’ Square, London (though still known familiarly by its original postal address of “Notting Hill”) was founded on 29 September 1878. The first French Carmel in Paris, famous for having been founded directly from Spain in 1604, sent seven of their sisters, two English and five French, to establish this new centre of contemplative prayer in London. It was intended, in the ardent spirit of St Teresa of Avila, to be a spiritual powerhouse for the evangelisation of England. The little community began in poverty and obscurity, but by the beginning of the twentieth century it was attracting an amazing number of new vocations, women from all walks of life.

The Prioress, Mother Mary of Jesus, was instrumental in spreading the Carmelite Order throughout Britain. She herself died at the age of 91 in 1942, with a reputation for holiness and zeal for God in the tradition of the great St Teresa herself.

Carmelite life has been maintained here uninterrupted ever since, despite such hazards as two eras of wartime blitz and the rapid cultural changes in society. The community has always desired to combine fidelity to its original rich spiritual heritage with serene openness to these changing times, keeping alight Gospel values and commitment to contemplative prayer as our contribution to the needs of the Church and the world.