Westbury - St Bernadette

West End, Westbury, Wiltshire BA13

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A small late-1930s church in a simplified Romanesque style. The building has been modernised internally and adapted to serve current needs, but some of its early character remains.

Until the church was built in the late 1930s, the nearest Mass centre was at Trowbridge. Funds were raised through voluntary contributions, leading to the purchase of the present site and the building of a modest church costing £2,500. The foundation stone was laid by Bishop Lee in July 1938. The published histories do not name the architects, but the design is unmistakably by Roberts & Willman, who produced a number of similar church designs in the diocese in the years leading up to the Second World War; the builders were Holdaways. The building was renovated in the mid-1990s. At some time after 2007 a parish room with services was added to the east side (liturgical south side) of the building. St Bernadette’s has always been served from Trowbridge.

The building is not orientated and the liturgical east end faces northwest; all directions in this description are liturgical.

The church is designed in a simplified Romanesque style. On plan it comprises a nave, transepts and sanctuary, with later hall addition on the south side. The walls are faced with red brick laid in stretcher bond with blue brick dressings and the pitched roofs are covered with tiles. All windows appear to be uPVC. The gabled west end has strip pilasters of blue brick, a central round-headed doorway with a statue of St Bernadette in the tympanum (carved in high relief, a Roberts and Willman leitmotif), and a round window over. The north side of the nave has four plain round-headed windows, while the south side is obscured by the modern parish room addition. The transepts each have a pair of round-headed windows. The sanctuary has small windows in the north side and a blind east wall.

The interior is plastered and painted, with open timber king-post roofs. The nave has a west gallery with a vestibule below. Simple fittings include a timber altar, a painted reredos and wooden benches.

Diocese: Clifton

Architect: Roberts & Willman

Original Date: 1938

Conservation Area: Yes

Listed Grade: Not listed