Englefield Green - The Assumption of Our Lady

Harvest Road, Englefield Green, Surrey TW20 0QR.

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A good many churches were being built in the Romanesque style in the 1930s (as, for example, the series designed by Wilfred Mangan at this time) but Goldie’s church is better composed and more competently detailed than most.  It is large and self confident.

Joseph Goldie (1882-1953) belonged to the third generation of a dynasty of Roman Catholic architects, his grandfather being George Goldie and his father Edward Goldie.  The Goldie practice was less successful in the years following the death of Edward Goldie but, even so, it did build a number of churches in the 1920s and 30s.  These included one in Cardiff, another in Camberwell, London, and the other two built for the diocese, Our Lady and St Peter in Leatherhead and St Dunstan in Woking, shortly to be demolished.

The foundation stone of the Assumption of Our Lady was laid on the 25th of October, 1930, and the church opened privately on September 20th, 1931.  The church at Englefield Green takes the form of a basilica with a polygonal sanctuary and tall campanile to the south-east.  The transepts house chapels with polygonal apses similar in form to that of the sanctuary.  The building is rendered and painted white with brick dressings and Roman tiles on the roof.  The whole thing has a bit of a swagger.  Ancillary accommodation and a priest’s house have been added to the east, and a new hall built to the south.  All the buildings are rendered and painted white like the church itself.

Inside the church has a wide nave with aisle passages to either side.  It is painted throughout.  The only surprise is the incongruous style of the plaster mouldings and the painted lunettes in the sanctuary, a type of decoration strangely at odds with the monumental character of the architecture.

Diocese: Arundel and Brighton

Architect: Joseph Goldie

Original Date: 1930

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not listed