Curator's choice - portraits


Edith Arendrup (1836-1934)

edith arendrupA major supporter and benefactor of Catholics in Wimbledon, during a period in which their numbers grew strongly – as did those of the other denominations.

Born Courtauld, she married Adolph Arendrup, a Dane serving in the Egyptian army. She moved to Wimbledon in 1877, after her husband died fighting the Ethiopians.

In promoting her faith, she opened a chapel within her house, and later moved it to an addition built for the purpose. With continuing growth of the congregation, she next built an iron chapel and a school in South Wimbledon, and then bought a site in Edge Hill / Darlaston Road for a more permanent church, the Sacred Heart, and she contributed substantially to its construction costs. Initially she had persuaded priests from Roehampton to walk across the Common and hold services in Wimbledon. Eventually she obtained agreement for them to have a permanent presence.