Edmonton - The Most Precious Blood and St Edmund

Hertford Road, London N9 7EN

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Quite an ambitious and original design for what was originally a monastery church with the monastery building attached. The buildings form a good group with the nearly contemporary school opposite, by the same architect.

The mission was established in 1903, served by Redemptorist priests, whose monastery was in the large adjoining presbytery, built at the same time. The architect was Edward Doran Webb, best known for the Birmingham Oratory and the Dominican Friary at Oxford. The church was consecrated on 17 May, 1907. A school was built to the east (across Hertford Road) in 1912, also from Webb’s designs.

The church is in a simple mixed Gothic style; it is not orientated and the liturgical east end faces north. The external walls are faced with coursed, rock-faced white stone, the roof coverings are clay tiles.  The plan comprises a long nave with a pitched roof swept down over side aisles, a crossing tower with a south transept balanced by a two-storey link to the large presbytery on the north side and a short chancel. On the west wall plain buttresses define the nave, which has a central door with a pointed arch and a long two-light window over with a quatrefoil in the tracery. The ends of the aisles have two-light windows under pointed arch heads; the aisle side walls have three-light trefoiled windows under straight heads. The short broad crossing tower has two-light traceried windows on each face, a plain parapet and a stair tower at the northeast corner. The chancel has a three-light east window with reticulated tracery.

Despite plastered and painted walls, the interior is dark, lit principally by the windows in the side aisles, which are set in plain reveals. The nave has a west gallery enclosed beneath by a stone screen with continuous trefoiled openings and four-bay north and south arcades with wide moulded pointed arches on clustered stone columns with moulded capitals and bases. The nave has a boarded wagon roof; the rafters of the lean-to aisle roofs are exposed.    At the east end of the aisles are simple pointed arch openings and both they and all four of the tall crossing arches have mouldings which die into the jambs. The sanctuary has been reordered and the altar brought forward but it retains the original stone reredos with five carved figures in canopied niches and a three-light traceried window over with the Crucifixion and St George and St Edmund in stained glass, by Kempe & Co., 1918. Other fittings include the stone font in the crossing which is doubtless original, some good modern stained glass in the south transept by Mark Angus installed in 1981-82 and a bas relief of St Joseph by Bernard Davis installed in 1957 above a new altar, but now moved to the west end of the north aisle. The pews date from the 1990s.

Diocese: Westminster

Architect: E. Doran Webb

Original Date: 1907

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not listed