ST MARY'S CHURCH
Located in Holly Walk/Place
( nestled in a row of Georgian houses between Church Row and Mt. Vernon Road)
St Mary’s was the first Catholic church to be built in Hampstead after the English Reformation of the 16th century
At that time, parishioners were largely French refugees and itinerant Irish hay-makers who worked in the fields of what was then a village outside London
In 1816, St. Mary's (with parsonage adjoining) was built to accommodate the French Roman Catholic Refugees (numbering about 200), then living in Hampstead.
The founder was the Abbe Morel.
He was born in Normandy in 1766.
He fled from his country on account of political and religious troubles and landed on the coast of Sussex.
He finally settled in Hampstead in 1795 and ministered to his people for 56 years.
He died in 1852.