|St Joseph's College||Barnet|
St Joseph's Foreign Missionary Society was founded in 1866 by Cardinal Herbert Vaughan, who built St Joseph's College here in 1869-71. It was officially opened on the feast of St Joseph in 1873, a statue of the saint erected to mark completion of the building. In the grounds was a circular burial ground on an elevated terrace, approached by a long walk and surrounded by tall pines. The College moved to Maidenhead in 2006 and the buildings and surrounding gardens were sold to the Matterhorn group with the expressed intention of converting it into a care home for the elderly.
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The St Joseph's Foreign Missionary Society (later popularly known as the Mill Hill Missionaries) was founded in 1866 by Cardinal Herbert Vaughan (1832-1903), who had initially bought Holcombe House at Mill Hill for himself and one student. He successfully approached the Cardinal of Westminster with his plan to found a missionary college, the first Catholic missionary training college to be founded in England. By 1869 Holcombe House was too small and Vaughan progressed plans for the new St Joseph's College to be built. The foundation stone was laid on 29 June 1869; the college buildings were designed by Messrs. Goldie and Child and were substantially completed by 1871 when the first occupants moved in. The foundation stone of the church was laid in 1871 and the college was officially opened on the feast of St Joseph in 1873, a statue of the saint erected to mark the completion of the building. In the grounds was a circular burial ground on an elevated terrace, approached by a long walk and surrounded by tall pines, with a devotional statue. When Cardinal Vaughan died in 1903 he was buried here. Holcombe House (open part of August and September) was passed to a congregation of Franciscan nuns in 1881 and was renamed St Mary's Abbey.
In November 1941 St Joseph's College was evacuated to Lochwinnoch in Scotland and part of the buildings at Mill Hill were requisitioned by the War Office for the use of the civil service. Although discussions began in the late 1990s regarding the future of the College at Mill Hill, St Joseph's continued here until 2006 when it moved to Maidenhead. In November the college buildings and surrounding gardens were sold to the Matterhorn group of development companies with the expressed intention of converting it into a care home for the elderly. The fields surrounding the college were kept by St Joseph's who continue to maintain them as well as the cemetery.
S Gillies and P Taylor 'Hendon, Child's Hill, Golders Green and Mill Hill', 1993; Arthur Mee 'The King's England: London North of the Thames except the City and Westminster' (Hodder & Stoughton Ltd, 1972). See www.millhillmissionaries.com for history of the Society