Carcroft - St George and the English Martyrs

Skellow Road, Carcroft, Doncaster, DN6

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A dual-purpose church and hall built in the 1960s. The design provides a well-lit interior and flexible space. The panel at the entrance is said to be the first of its kind in the country made by Formica.

From the late 1920s, Carcroft and nearby Skellow developed as residential areas serving Bullcroft colliery. In 1960 a dual-purpose church and hall on Skellow Road was built as a chapel-of-ease to Woodlands, to serve the new housing estates. The land for the site was rented at a nominal rent from the coal board. According to the Almanac and Directory for the Diocese of Leeds (1961) the building was designed by a local Catholic surveyor, Mr Saul; this may be the Edward Saul of John Rochford & Partners, who was responsible for the church of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Bentley, Doncaster (qv) about this time. The builders were Jenkinsons of Doncaster. Costing £10,000 and built to seat 270, the church was opened by the Bishop of Leeds on 8 December 1960. It continues to be a chapel-of-ease to Woodlands (qv). 

For the purposes of this report conventional liturgical orientation will be followed i.e. the sanctuary referred to as the east end.

The church was originally conceived as a dual-purpose structure and opened in 1960. It is built of brown brick laid in stretcher bond, with artificial stone dressings to the windows and surrounding the panel on the porch, roofs covered in felt and deep eaves with a timber boarded soffit. The T-plan comprises a projecting narthex and porch at the west end, a confessional and sacristy to the north, ancillary facilities to the south and sanctuary to the east. The principal entrance is via side doors into the flat-roofed west porch. The main feature of the west elevation is a colourful panel (figure 1) in the porch depicting St George and the Dragon, flanked by St John Fisher, St Thomas More, Blessed John Anne (martyr of Burghwallis Hall) and Blessed (now St) Margaret Clitherow. According to the Leeds Diocesan Almanac and Directory, this was the first decorative panel made by Formica in the country. Directly behind is the flat-roofed narthex, with the higher shallow-pitched roof of the hall/nave above, with three horizontal large window openings and cross above. The north and south elevations are of plain brick with four two-light rectangular windows below the eaves. To the northeast is the confessional/sacristy and to the southeast the kitchen range, with a later extension in red brick. The sanctuary is shallower than the nave and is lit by two large windows to the north and south.

The interior has plastered walls, plainly painted, pine floorboards and a shallow sloping tiled suspended ceiling. Low relief plaster Stations of the Cross are placed on the north and south walls. A sliding leather screen divides the nave and sanctuary, the latter raised on one step with wrought iron altar rails designed by Mr Wood, a local blacksmith, who also designed a matching wrought iron screen to the baptistery in the narthex. The stone altar is on a stepped platform with a triangular polished wood reredos of tongue and groove panelling with two carvings on either side, brought back from missionary work in Peru. Chairs provide flexible seating.

Diocese: Hallam

Architect: John Rochford & Partners (unconfirmed attribution)

Original Date: 1960

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not listed