West Moors - St Anthony

Pinehurst Road, West Moors, Dorset

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A typical church by Lanner Ltd. ofWakefieldwho built straightforward functional churches in the Post-War period. Fit for purpose but of no architectural importance.

As so often, the origins of West Moors parish stem from a nearby religious house, here the Cistercian nuns who arrived at Stapehill Abbey (about three miles distant) in 1802. The Abbey served Catholics over a wide area, including Wimborne. From about 1922 Mass in West Moors was said at Lisheen, the home of the Burke family. The house was next door to the present St Anthony’s and the land for a church was purchased some years later as the congregation grew and a temporary church was erected in 1928. In 1970 Father Philip French began the campaign to build the present complex. More land was acquired, presbytery and hall were built first and the church was opened on 8 December 1976.

The altar faces southwest but for the purposes of this section all compass points assume an east-facing altar. St Anthony ofPaduachurch is built of red brick. Nave and sanctuary under one gabled roof with concrete tiles, and flat-roofed north aisle and western narthex or porch. Large rectangular window openings with tripartite window frames, wide-narrow-wide, with staggered transoms. Circular west window with paired mullions and transoms forming a cross.

 

The interior immediately shows the standard Lanner construction of laminated timber ‘boomerang’ trusses, leaving an uninterrupted space open to the apex of the roof. The internal walls are finished in fair-faced yellow brick. Although the side windows run from floor to eaves, the interior is not awash with daylight as the huge volume of the roof and the set back of the north aisle windows are such that the daylight does not penetrate. The narrow bands of the windows are glazed in coloured glass. The sanctuary was refitted in the 1990s, the altar, ambo and tabernacle resting on large blocks of rough hewn stone. Other furnishings are of the time of the church and are not of particularly artistic importance. There is a carved wood statue of Christ with arms outstretched on the east wall above the altar.

Diocese: Plymouth

Architect: Lanner of Wakefield

Original Date: 1976

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not listed