In the investigation
that followed the capture of Edmund Campion in
1581, a resident of South Mimms, one Griffin, was
among those suspected of aiding Jesuits. (fn. 90) By 1676
there were said to be no papists in the parish (fn. 91) but
five years later Charles Malgrave of South Mimms
was presented for recusancy. (fn. 92)
A mission was started at High Barnet in 1849 (fn. 93) by
Dr. Faa di Bruno, the General of the Pious Society
of Missions, helped by four Passionists from the
Hyde between 1850 and 1855. (fn. 94) A large Italianate
church was built in High Street in 1850 (fn. 95) but proved
unsuitable for the climate and had to be pulled
down. (fn. 96) Until part of the modern church was opened
in 1865, services were held in the schoolroom. St.
Gregory's chapel was added in 1870, the eastern part
of the nave and Lady chapel in 1878, and the
west end was completed in 1931. (fn. 97) The church is a
brick building in the Gothic style seating 300.
Between 1867 and 1886 the Southwell family used
the large attic at Knightsland as a Roman Catholic
chapel. (fn. 98) A sister of W. H. Southwell was the
superior of the Roman Catholic nunnery which,
under the name of St. Monica's priory, used Clare
Hall between 1886 and 1896. (fn. 99)
In 1920 a room at Wyllyotts manor was placed at
the disposal of Roman Catholics by Mr. Beckett,
whose son conducted services there. In 1922 Sir
Nicholas Grattan Doyle provided a chapel in
Boundary House, the chapel furnishings later being
transferred to Hillside in Barnet Road, which the
Spanish Vincentians had acquired in 1922 as a
college for training missionaries. In 1925 the Vincentians built a temporary church at Hillside, which
was destroyed by enemy action in 1945. Services
were afterwards held in their community chapel and
hall, until in 1950 the order was relieved of pastoral
duties and the brick church of Our Lady of the
Assumption was built in Mutton Lane. The Vincentians themselves built a brick church in Southgate
Road in 1960; (fn. 1) dedicated to St. Vincent de Paul and
Ste. Louise de Marillac, it was opened to the public
and from 1969 has served a new parish in east
Potters Bar. (fn. 2)
About 1922 Irish Dominican sisters established a
convent in Church Road, whose chapel local Roman
Catholics could attend. The convent was closed in
1937 and the building demolished in 1956. (fn. 3) In 1972
maisonettes called Rosary Court stood on its site.
Acts of P.C. 1581-2, 164.
||William Salt Libr., Stafford, Salt MS. 33, p. 40.
Mdx. Cnty. Recs. iv. 151.
||Brittain, South Mymms, 102.
||Ex inf. Father Sylvester Palmer; Kelly's Dir. Mdx.
(1855). The ch. is dedic. to St. Mary and St. Gregory.
Catholic Dir. (1851).
||Brittain, op. cit. 102.
Kelly's Dir. Barnet (1932).
||Brittain, op. cit. 53.
Story of Potters Bar, 77-8.
Catholic Dir. (1970).
Story of Potters Bar, 77.