Brackley - St Martin

Halls Lane, Brackley, Northants

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One of a number of churches in the Diocese designed by J. S. Comper, built on a low budget and not of special interest.

In 1916 Mrs Juliet Rush of Farthinghoe Lodge, Brackley established a Catholic chapel in  her  summerhouse,  with  an  initial  congregation  of  five.  From  1940  converted stables  in  Farthinghoe  belonging  to  a  Catholic  family  were  used.  Later  on  the Women's Institute Hall was established as a Mass centre, and the congregation grew to about 80.

A fund to build a permanent church was established in 1947, with £500 given by the Bishop from the legacy of Mrs Rush.  The new church was completed in 1957 at a cost of £6,000. The architect was J.S. Comper and the builders Simcock and Usher of Northampton. The church was dedicated to St. Martin of Tours, and was consecrated on Sunday July 28 1957 by Bishop Parker.   From the outset the church was served from Buckingham.

A small church built of pink wire-cut Fletton bricks with spare use of cast stone dressings, under a tile roof. The gabled west front has a central two-light window with Y-tracery and hoodmould, flanked by stepped buttresses. The central entrance porch is early but not original; the original appearance is shown in the photograph top  left.  The  church  originally  had  metal  windows,  also  shown  in  the  early photograph, but these have now been replaced in hardwood with leaded panes.

The interior is a simple single space of five bays under a lightweight roof. Furnishings of note include somewhat Baroque-looking polychrome statues of the Virgin and Child and Our Lord in the corners at the liturgical east end, of Continental origin, low relief Stations of the Cross in silver beaten metal on the nave walls, and a square low-relief panel of St Martin at the west end.

Diocese: Northampton

Architect: J. S. Comper

Original Date: 1957

Conservation Area: Yes

Listed Grade: Not listed