Sex in the suburbs...

SANDWICHED between a parish hall, a nursing home and dozens of unsuspecting half-million pound homes in a leafy Kingsley street lies Convent Mansion.

An opulent five-bedroom Victorian town house hiding a sordid secret.

Set over four storeys this is no ordinary house.

In the basement is a dungeon, fully equipped with whips and chains.

A sunken bath lies in the middle of an immaculately decorated bathroom while double beds lay in waiting for their occupants in five stunning rooms.

Convent Mansion is, on a day-to-day basis, the latest innovation in the sex industry in Northampton.

Men pay 120 to spend an hour in the company of women advertised on a lurid website, all just yards from the suburban idyll that waits outside.

The Chronicle & Echo posed as a stag party organiser looking into the possibility of staging one last night of freedom at Convent Mansion.

A dozen men, as many women as we wanted for as long as we wanted. No problem.

We were greeted by Luke, the man who runs the premises for a management company, and given a brief tour of the facilities.

"All the girls are independent, they don't work for us, it's like a co-operative," he explained. "They rent the rooms from us, they just pay us the rent.

"You are paying for the lady's time. What happens during that time is between two consenting adults."

It is that policy that forms a legal loophole.

It cannot be classed as prostitution as no cash is changing hands between the punter and the girl in question but for the well-heeled residents of The Drive, Convent Mansion is an unwelcome neighbour.

"It makes me feel sick, it makes me want to cry," said one pensioner, who asked not to be named.

"I thought that nothing really shocked me any more, it all goes on nowadays, but that is disgusting. You don't expect to have that kind of thing happening on your doorstep."

Leonard Ogbourne, owner of The Crescent residential care home opposite Convent Mansion, said: "It's not right, it's not a normal way to live your life.

People spend hundreds of thousands of pounds to live down this road and now we have a place like that next door."

But despite concerns from the neighbours, Northamptonshire Police have no legal reasons to stop Convent Mansion carrying on


Chief Supt Ken Willis, operations commander for Northampton, said: "Local representatives have raised concerns about the activities at the premises in The Drive, and in response to this we have visited the premises and satisfied ourselves that the activities there do not involve the use of drugs and that there is no exploitation of young or vulnerable people taking place.

"We do not turn a blind eye to the possibility that these, or other premises are profiting from prostitution, but each instance is treated individually, and in this case we are working closely with Northampton Borough Council, the SWAN project and other partners to address concerns raised."

During our tour of the building, going from room to room, featuring chandeliers, double beds and not a lot else, we discussed Convent Mansion's relationship with the police.

"They visit us quite regularly. Their biggest problem is the street walkers and the parlours in Kingsley Park Terrace and the town centre.

"There it is all in your face but we don't have a neon sign above the door, we are not like that."

They may not have a neon sign but Convent Mansion's website leaves little to the imagination.

Calling itself "the luxury location for adult indulgence", the site includes profiles of 12 girls, pictures of the rooms and images of a sexual nature taken in the property's "dungeon".

The site states: "Pamper yourself with the lady of your choice, we guarantee you will want to repent all previous sins and take your vow at the convent.

"The staff have all been thoroughly trained in the fine art of adult entertainment. They parade around the house in provocative clothing, answering each and every one of your whims, alone or together, the choice is yours. Experience the mansion to its fullest, whether a relaxing time in our sumptuous hot tub with one of the staff, or perhaps venturing into the depths of our dungeon... only your imagination will limit your enjoyment."

Convent Mansion is a new development in Northampton's sex industry.

Its postcode may be high class but the goings-on behind closed doors are anything but that.

n WHAT do you think? Should Convent Mansion be closed down or does it serve a useful purpose to society? Should the girls be allowed to continue offering sex in the suburbs?

Email us your views at or call reporter Daniel Owens on Northampton 467036.