Teddington - The Sacred Heart

The Sacred Heart, Teddington

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A characteristic red brick church of the 1890s by John Kelly, seamlessly extended in the 1930s, in a loose round-arched style. The interior is of basilican form, and displays some architectural ambition. Externally, the front elevation plays an important part in the local streetscape

The church was built to meet the needs of Catholics in this expanding suburban area. The architect chosen was John Kelly, who built a number of Catholic churches between the mid-1880s and the early years of the twentieth century, and specialised in brick Italianate designs.  His most notable works are probably St Patrick, Soho (qv) and the now-redundant Anglican church of All Saints, Petersham, but he also built the Catholic church at Chiswick (qv). The west front was originally left incomplete, two bays back, with a temporary wall, presumably due to budgetary constraints. The nave was extended westward by two bays in 1933, possibly from Kelly’s original designs, and certainly in sympathy with his design, by a local architect, A. Keefe of Sunbury on Thames (who also enlarged the presbytery). The sacristy was altered and extended in 2005 (architect Alexander Good of London N5).

The church is oriented to the southwest so directions given are liturgical.

The church is built of red brick in a round-arched Italianate style, with the entrance façade facing the main road. The design of the west front may be Kelly’s, finally completed in the 1930s. The church has a shallow west porch, nave, lean-to aisles, a semi-circular apse, and parish facilities attached on the south side. Slates cover the roofs. The nave as extended in 1933 is of five bays (plus a gallery area) and is lit principally by a long range of clerestory windows, two windows per bay below.

The gabled west porch leads into a narthex area. Inside, the walls are plastered and painted in white or light cream.  Between the nave and aisles are arcades with round, moulded arches and large square piers. In the west bay of the chancel are four engaged shafts with Corinthian capitals at the corners.  In the apse is a series of blind arches. Over the nave is a three-sided roof, the panels of which are picked out in lurid red paint, as are the roofs in the aisles. Similar treatment has been applied to the details in the sanctuary roof. A west gallery occupies the west end of the nave.

Fixtures and fittings:

  • There      are a number of side altars in recesses off the aisles, many of which have      good quality marble work. The Lady altar (east end of north aisle) on the      other hand has an ambitious classical wooden reredos.
  • Original      alabaster memorial altar rails (date of death 1884).

Diocese: Westminster

Architect: John Kelly; A. Keefe

Original Date: 1893

Conservation Area: No

Modifications: 1933

Listed Grade: Not listed