THIS postcard, kindly lent to the library by a regular customer, had me intrigued.

The caption reads: 'Convent of the Good Shepherd, Yeldall, Twyford, Berks.'

Having catalogued the pictures of Twyford, I felt I ought to have known where it was. It turns out that Yeldall Manor was the name of a house built in the 1890s for a Mr EB Marriage, actually in the parish of Wargrave, near Hare Hatch. Over the last 110 years or so, it"s had a diverse history.

The naming of the house is interesting - it looks as though it should have meant 'yield hall' or 'guild hall', as in the Yield Hall at Reading.

The name Yeldhalles Gate was a place-name recorded in Wargrave parish in the time of Elizabeth I, so 'yeldall' is an old name given a new lease of life. Since it is most unlikely that there was ever a guild hall in Wargrave, the English Place-Name Society volume covering the area suggests that the 'yeld' could have started out as 'held,' an old word for a slope.

The house was enlarged and altered by the next owner, Mr PF Tuckett, and by 1912 it was the home of Prof Arthur Schuster FRS. During his time, the house has been described as 'a mecca for the country"s young intellectuals'.

Mr Schuster"s widow sold it to the Anglican Convent Community in 1938, and the house has provided a home for Christian communities ever since.

Looking at the 1938 sale catalogue in the Central Library, you can see that the dining room of the manor became the chapel of the Convent of the Good Shepherd.

I can"t help wondering whether the wooden statue of the Good Shepherd which featured in the Retro article on July 10 last year could have been carved for the Convent.

The nuns left and the Community of Celebration bought the convent in 1973, and the address reverted to Yeldall Manor. From here the community sent out teams of Fisherfolk across the country and across the world, teaching and preaching. Music was an important part of their ministry, but they didn"t stay long.

The community was soon being dispersed to other centres, and in 1977, the house was bought by a charity which is now called Yeldall Christian Centres.

It now provides residential rehabilitation for men with drug and alcohol problems.