Market Place, Aylesham, Kent CT3
A pre-fabricated building, bought off-the-peg in 1957 to replace a smaller earlier church in this 1920s mining village.
Aylesham is a planned village erected for the miners of the nearby Snowdown Colliery. The village was laid out in 1926-27 by J Archibald, C T F Martindale and (Sir) Patrick Abercrombie is a vaguely Beaux Arts manner, with a central grassy square. The first Catholic church was erected in 1929, extended by the addition of a school in 1934, bombed in 1941 and restored in 1948. In 1950 a new site was purchased at one end of the central square and a design for a new church in a modern style was procured from J W Poltock ARIBA. In the event, parish funds did not extend to such a building and a pre-fabricated structure was purchased from a firm in Salisbury, who doubtless had experience in providing such structures for the army.
The church has a rectangular plan, with small rectangular projections in the middle of both sides and at the northeast corner. The exterior is single storey, with a curved overall roof. The walls are faced with precast pebbledash panels and the roof is a timber structure covered with felt. The principal entrance is at the west end, where the central doorway has a canopy on thin struts and is flanked by two rectangular metal framed windows. The end of the arched roof is faced with metal sheeting. The side walls have widely-spaced curving buttresses and between them are pairs of rectangular metal framed windows. The interior is a single large space with a modern parquet floor, and board linings to the walls and the curved ceiling. The windows are all clear glazed. At the west end is a deep gallery; the space beneath is used for toilets and other small rooms. The furnishings are simple; apparently the altar furniture was made locally.
Architect: Messrs Reena Construction Ltd of Salisbury
Original Date: 1957
Conservation Area: Yes
Listed Grade: Not Listed