Building » Bournemouth – St Thomas More

Bournemouth – St Thomas More

Exton Road, Boscombe, Bournemouth, Dorset

A loosely Italianate basilican design by T. H. B. Scott, with a well-composed facade and an attractive interior.

Following its incorporation into Bournemouth in 1911, the village of Iford rapidly became a large residential district. Land for a new church to serve the district was obtained by Fr Gibbons SJ, the parish priest at Boscombe, and funds for the building were raised by local residents. An inscription in the church records that one of the principal donors was Margaret Coakley Cundy, who wished the building to be a memorial to Fr de la Pasteur SJ. The foundation stone for the church, designed by Thomas Henry Birchall Scott, was laid by Bishop Cotter on 11 Jan 1939. The parish was served by Jesuits from Corpus Christi until 1949, when an independent parish was erected. The church was consecrated in 1957.


The church is in a loosely Italian basilican style, with facings of red brick laid in English bond, and pantile roof. The plan comprises nave and aisles, with an entrance lobby flanked by sacristies (original baptistery) at the ritual west end. A central tower-like projection has a round-headed central doorway with a mural by Gabriel Pippet in the tympanum; the centre is flanked by the hipped roof ends of the nave and by lower hipped roof elements in front of the aisles, which themselves have flat roofs. The side elevations are plain, with brick pilaster strips and pairs of round-headed windows high in the wall of each bay.

The interior is an attractive space. The walls are plastered and painted, the five-bay nave arcades have wide round-headed arches carried down onto plastered brick piers. The nave has a segmental plaster ceiling, with flat ceilings over the aisles; there is no clerestorey. At the west end of the nave is a gallery; the space below was enclosed by glazed partitions in 2005. At the east end of the nave is a shallow windowless apse.

Entry amended by AHP 23.12.2020

Heritage Details

Architect: T. H. B. Scott

Original Date: 1938

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not Listed