New Milton - Our Lady of Lourdes

Mount Avenue, New Milton, Hants

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The church is an interesting late Gothic Revival church, drawing upon regional traditions in the design and materials. The architect was Wilfrid Mangan, who had a prolific Catholic practice in the interwar and post-war years, and who was responsible for several churches in Portsmouth diocese. The church has similarities with Mangan’s slightly later church of St Colman, Portsmouth, and both are untypical of Mangan’s work as Gothic, rather than Italian basilican designs. The hammerbeam roof structure of the interior is particularly striking. 

The church was built in 1927 to the designs of W.C. Mangan. The masonry contractor was Marchetti of Portsmouth.

The earliest part of the building is Mangan’s aisleless Gothic nave of 1927, with walls of pre-cast concrete blocks with knapped flints set into the surface to create a chequerboard effect, all under a tall red-tiled roof. The west gable has an elaborate triple-tier frontispiece with an image of Our Lady; the side walls have single lancet windows with trefoil heads between gabled buttresses. The additions of the early 1950s comprise gabled double transepts on both sides, each with a pair of lancet windows, and a chancel whose roof is continuous with that of the nave. The walls of the transepts and chancel are plain-rendered, as is the large flat-roofed vestry extension attached to the north east transept.

The main west door leads to a lobby and so into the nave, which has plain plastered walls and a tall and elaborate timber hammerbeam roof. There is a western organ gallery over the entrance lobby. The elaborate roof is continued the full length of the building, supported at the transept by octagonal columns. All the windows are clear-glazed. The church has a parquet floor, with marble sanctuary flooring. The sanctuary has been re-ordered and the altar brought forward. The wooden nave benches probably date from the 1950s; the pendant light fittings seem more typical of the 1920s.

Diocese: Portsmouth

Architect: Wilfrid Mangan of Preston

Original Date: 1927

Conservation Area: No

Modifications: 1951

Listed Grade: Not listed