Clowne - Sacred Heart

Creswell Road, Clowne, Chesterfield, S43 4NB

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A plain dual-purpose post-war church and hall by the prolific firm of Reynolds & Scott.

The village of Clowne expanded with the growth of the coal industry during the nineteenth century, in particular the mines at nearby Creswell. The origins of the mission are unclear, but it is likely to have been an offshoot of the Jesuit Mass centre at Barlborough. A private chapel belonging to the Butler Bowden family of nearby Southgate House was served by Jesuit priests, and was open to local Catholics. An attempt to establish a separate mission was made in 1903, and a chapel built in the village, but this closed in 1905, and the congregation returned to the Southgate chapel. 

The site of the present church was donated by the Butler Bowden family and funds raised for a church, but the onset of war and subsequent post-war building restrictions delayed matters. In the meantime Southgate House was sold to Sir Osbert Sitwell of Renishaw (who was not a Catholic, but who allowed the chapel to continue to be used by local Catholics). When the house was put up for sale again, plans were put in hand for the building of a church, or rather a dual-purpose hall-church, from designs by Reynolds & Scott, built by Crowder & Son of Bolsover and seating 200 (figures 1 and 2). The foundation was laid by the Bishop of Nottingham on 17 May 1952 and the bishop returned to open the completed church on 14 June 1953. There was originally a sacristy or vestry on the north side of the building, but this was taken down when a linked presbytery was built after Clowne became an independent parish in 1968. 

A simple modern astylar design, built in 1952-3 from designs by Reynolds & Scott as a dual-purpose church and hall, with a dividing screen in the sanctuary to allow the nave to be used for secular purposes. On plan it consists of an aisleless nave and chancel under one roof, with an entrance narthex/porch. It is built of biscuit-coloured brick with contrasting brick and concrete or reconstituted stone dressings, under a slate roof. The porch has a stepped parapet and a panel over the doorway inscribed with the Jesuit motto AMDG. Windows along the sides are grouped in pairs. A stone-clad link connects the church to the later presbytery.

Diocese: Hallam

Architect: Reynolds & Scott

Original Date: 1953

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not listed