Wisdom Centre in Romsey, is a great ‘wellbeing’ venue. Place of Serenity have held a couple of Mindfulness Retreat Days there. The River Test runs through it, joined by tributaries, one of them alongside the Centre. This fast-flowing, chalk stream, is famous for its trout fly-fishing and meanders its way for 39 miles from its source down to Southampton. It was even mentioned in ‘Watership Down’, by Richard Adams as the Watership rabbits escaped the baddies, and had to float along the River Test for part of their journey.
So don’t be surprised if you can hear the sound of water when you arrive at Wisdom Centre. The building itself sits on the site of a former flour mill which must obviously have made full use of the river. After the mill burnt down in 1925, it was rebuilt as a school and a religious order, the Daughters of Wisdom, established a boys’ orphanage.
At the time of construction it was decided to add a tunnel connecting the school building with the nearby convent (Abbey House) and to utilise the strong flowing water on the property to provide electricity. During World War II the tunnel served as an air raid shelter. Following the school’s closure in 2000, the building was redeveloped and officially opened as Wisdom House in 2007.
Wisdom Centre occupies the ground floor of Wisdom House, with the archives and administration offices of the Daughters of Wisdom on the first and second floors. The vision for Wisdom Centre came from the Daughters of Wisdom who wanted to offer reflective space and hospitality to those in need of renewal, encouragement and stillness. Since opening in 2007 the Centre has enjoyed the privilege of welcoming individuals and groups from all walks of life and from all faiths and none.