Maldon - Assumption of our Lady

Victoria Road, Maldon, Essex CM9

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A Geoffrey Raymond church of the mid-1920s, built in the late Gothic Revival manner popularised by architects such as E. P. Warren and Walter Tapper, with an unassuming red brick exterior and an attractive wagon-roofed interior. The church makes a positive contribution to the Maldon Conservation Area.

The first Catholic place of worship in Maldon in modern times was opened in 1865, a second in 1890 and a third in 1897. These were all served from Witham. The first resident priest was appointed in 1900 and the church was enlarged or rebuilt in 1906 by Charles Spooner; this building is now the parish hall. The parish of Maldon was erected in 1918, and the present church built in 1924-25 from designs by Geoffrey Raymond of Scoles & Raymond. It was opened by Bishop Doubleday on 18 November 1925. Harry Gilbey of Mark Hall, Harlow, gave £2000 towards the £5000 building cost. The church is physically attached to the presbytery, which appears also to date from the 1920s, and may also have been designed by Raymond.

The church is in the fourteenth-century Decorated style of Gothic, with nave and chancel under a long continuous roof, a north aisle and a small polygonal west baptistery. The walls are faced with red brick laid in stretcher bond with stone dressings and window tracery. The roof is covered in new red tiles. The west gable wall has a large four-light window with elaborate tracery with a small roundel window in the gable head. Below the main window is a polygonal projection, presumably originally the baptistery. The nave is of five bays with the chancel continuing for a further two bays; the nave bays are divided by stepped buttresses. On the south side, the western bay contains the main entrance, which has a pointed moulded surround with jamb-shafts; the tympanum has carved cusped ornament and a figure of Our Lady in a vesica. The other nave bays have three-light traceried windows. The chancel has two two-light windows of similar pattern set slightly higher. On the north side is a lean-to aisle with a pair of trefoiled windows in the west wall and three three-light straight-headed windows in the north elevation. At the east end of the aisle is a large flat-roofed sacristy which is also attached to the side wall of the presbytery. The east end wall of the church has two narrow traceried windows and abuts the presbytery directly.

Internally, the church is a light and handsome space with a parquet floor, plain plastered and whitened walls, clear-glazed windows and a wagon roof with moulded curved principals. At the west end of the nave is an organ gallery with a timber front, underbuilt with an entrance lobby. On the north side is an arcade of four bays of double chamfered stone arches dying into octagonal stone piers. The chancel arch is taller but of similar pattern and the chancel itself has a roof like that of the nave. On the north side is a Lady Chapel with an arched opening into the chancel. The east end was re-ordered in 1975 with a new floor and modern furniture. The nave benches may be the original ones from the 1920s rebuilding.

Diocese: Brentwood

Architect: Geoffrey Raymond of Scoles & Raymond

Original Date: 1924

Conservation Area: Yes

Listed Grade: Not listed