Penmaenmawr, on the North Wales coast, was known to the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary in England as a holiday retreat. With the outbreak of World War II in 1939, the proximity to the Bootle docks of Liverpool made Sacred Heart of Mary Convent, Seafield a likely target for enemy bombers. The retired sisters living there moved to the house called Tan-y Foel in Penmaenmawr, Wales, which had been purchased the previous year.
View of house in Penmaenmawr, Wales in 1910
Upon taking up residence there, the sisters assumed a share of responsibility for the spiritual care of the local Catholic population, especially the children, with particular regard to their religious instruction, which was not provided in the school they were attending.
The property remains under the care of the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary. It is now know as Noddfa, which means "refuge," a place of welcome and peace, a place where one can regain energy. The Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary hope that all the groups who come here will experience this in the comfort of the house and the beauty of the surrounding hills and sea. Noddfa welcomes those who care for the sick or handicapped in their homes, when they have an opportunity to have a break, as well as parish groups, women's groups, and people who come for retreats and quiet times.