Doncaster - Our Lady of Mount Carmel and St Mary Magdalen

Armthorpe Road, Intake, Doncaster, DN2

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A Gothic Revival church of the 1950s by Robert A. Ronchetti, very old-fashioned for its date but nonetheless a design of quality. The church is located in a prominent position in the townscape, with the raised bellcote providing a local landmark in an area of 1930s housing.

The population of Doncaster expanded rapidly after the opening of new collieries in the early twentieth century, with further growth after the Second World War. St Peter-in-Chains (qv) served a large parish and was unable to accommodate the increasing numbers. In 1935, a Mass centre was opened at Intake and Sunday Mass was said in a local council school until a temporary chapel-of-Ease, St Mary Magdalene at Evelyn Road, was founded from St Peter’s in 1947. The following year the new parish of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and St Mary Magdalen was erected to ease pressure on St Peter-in-Chains. During the late 1940’s new housing estates were developed at Wheatley Park and Wheatley Hill and a temporary chapel-of-ease for Our Lady of Mount Carmel built at Parkway, South Wheatley in 1948.

In the 1950s a decision was made to bring the parish together with the construction of one central church, and to close the two chapels. A plot of land was purchased on the south side of Armthope Road and the present church built from designs by R. A. Ronchetti of Harrogate. Accommodating 350, it cost approximately £20,000. The church was officially opened on 13 July 1955 and dedicated on 20 September 1985.

The church was built to the designs of Robert A. Ronchetti of Harrogate and opened in 1955. It is in Gothic style, faced with red rustic brick laid in Flemish bond, and with artificial stone dressings to the doors, windows, copings and cross. The roof is covered in dark red tiles. On plan it consists of an aisleless seven-bay nave, apsidal sanctuary, two side chapels, sacristy, confessionals and a parish room below the sanctuary.

The west front has a Gothic aedicule to the pointed moulded doorway, formed of artificial stone surround, flanked by lancet windows. Above is a three-light pointed window with Perpendicular tracery; all windows have hood moulds. A raised bellcote to the southwest has a stone niche with a statue of St Mary Magdalene under a Gothic canopy facing west, and an open bellcote designed to house a single bell. The fenestration to the north side consists of four lancets with six to the south, all with hood moulds and buttresses marking the bay divisions. The south side has an additional entrance and to the north side a sacristy forms a link block with the presbytery. The east end is apsidal with two lancet windows. The sloping site allows for a parish room under the sanctuary, accessed by an entrance on the east side of the apse and lit by four single-light windows. Lean-to projections on each side of the apse contain side chapels, each lit by a lancet and a circular window.

Internally, the dominant feature is the exposed roof structure, with arch-braced collar trusses supported on stone corbels, the sloping soffit lined with timber which contrasts with the walls of fair-faced brick. The pointed chancel arch leads into the apsidal sanctuary with flanking smaller arches to the side chapels. There are no furnishings of particular note. The forward altar is modern, of pine, while the pews are probably contemporary with the church. Stations of the Cross in high relief are placed on the nave walls.

Diocese: Hallam

Architect: R. A. Ronchetti

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not listed