Old Hall Green (1793)
The presence of the seminary at Douai in France came to an end with the French Revolution. In October 1793 the college property was confiscated, so the professors and students returned to England where the penal laws against Catholics had been relaxed. Bishop John Douglass, Vicar Apostolic of the London District, sent the earliest refugees to stay at Old Hall Green Academy, a school near to Ware, Hertfordshire.
On 16 November 1793 – the feast of Saint Edmund, Archbishop of Canterbury – a new college was instituted. The establishment of St Edmund’s College was the beginning of the restoration of colleges and seminaries throughout England. Many of the boys of the school continued in the seminary and trained for the priesthood.
In 1904 Archbishop Francis Bourne had a new wing built to house the seminarians. This part of the college eventually became known as Allen Hall, after the founder of the English College at Douai. 1975 saw the departure of the seminarians: moving to Chelsea allowed them to be more involved in pastoral work in London, and allowed St Edmund’s College to expand as a school. The name Allen Hall has been retained to this day.