Kingskerswell - St Gregory

Coles Lane, Kingskerswell, Devon

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A thoughtful and functional design of the 1960s, rebuilt in the 1970s. Portal frame construction, externally clad in brick, with a tall northwest campanile. The plan is of the traditional longitudinal type that was widely abandoned in the later 1960s, not least by the architects of St Gregory‚Äôs, whose later buildings tended to be liturgically and architecturally more adventurous. 

The church is designed in a modern neo-Romanesque style.  The walls are faced with light red brick, the nave roof is covered with concrete pantiles and the sanctuary roof with plain tiles.  The plan comprises a broad aisleless nave with a northwest campanile and a small apsidal baptistery adjacent, an apsidal sanctuary with lower flanking chapels and a rectangular single-storey flat-roofed north east sacristy. The gabled west front has a slightly projecting centre with an open canopied porch with a round window over.  The northwest campanile is virtually windowless but has four blind round-headed windows on each side at upper level and a low pyramidal copper-covered roof. On the west side of the tower is the foundation stone laid by Bishop Restieaux in April 1961. Immediately east of the campanile is a low apsidal top-lit baptistery.  Both side walls have a continuous clerestorey of metal-framed windows under the deep eaves.  At the east end, slight projections in the walls accommodate the side chapels and lower eastward continuations frame the projecting apsidal sanctuary.

 

The interior is wide and light with a portal frame, plastered lower walls, the continuous clerestory and a roof boarded and painted above the purlins.  There is a west gallery with a pierced timber front and the space below the gallery is enclosed by a timber and glass partition to form a full-width lobby. The floor is covered with vinyl tiles. At the east end a tall round-headed arch on square brick piers opens into the sanctuary.  On either side are lower, segment-headed openings into the top-lit side chapels. The Sanctuary is lighted by two windows high in the side walls.  All the windows in the church are clear-glazed.  The fittings appear to be contemporary with the church.  They include simple timber benches and a stone altar, side altar and font characteristic of the 1960s.

The church was built on a new site in 1961, from designs by the Paignton practice of Evans, Powell & Powell.  It was badly damaged by fire (apparently arson) in May 1976 and rebuilt to the original design. 

Diocese: Plymouth

Architect: Evans, Powell & Powell

Original Date: 1961

Conservation Area: No

Modifications: ; rebuilt after fire 1976/77

Listed Grade: Not listed