Building » Carshalton – Holy Cross

Carshalton – Holy Cross

North Street, Carshalton, Surrey SM5

A simple church building to an inter-war design by W.C. Mangan. The building has an Italianate character, typical of Mangan, but is essentially a single large worship space.   The most original feature of the interior is  the use of large console brackets supporting the wide ceiling.

The first Catholic church at Carshalton in modern times was a former Methodist chapel  which  had  subsequently  been  used  by  the  Salvation  Army  before  being acquired by the Diocese of Southwark in 1914. Carshalton was served from Sutton until 1931, when Fr Jenner was appointed as the first resident priest.  The foundation stone of a new church was laid in 1932.  Built from designs by the prolific Catholic architect W.C. Mangan, the new church opened in 1933. In 1964 the old hall which had been used originally as the chapel was demolished and the church was extended. In 1976 the interior of the church was re-ordered. A new parish hall was built on the south side of the church in 2003. 

The church is recognisably a design by Mangan, with an Italianate main facade to what in essentially a simple rectangular box.  The walls are faced with red brick laid in Flemish bond, with ornamental bands of brick on edge. The pitched overall roof is covered in tiles. The west end has a  pedimented centrepiece with a triple entrance in a Palladian surround set under tall  round-headed brick with a round window in the head.    The north nave wall has six narrow lancet windows with larger rectangular openings above with small-paned metal windows.   The south side was presumably the same but is now obscured by the later hall building.   The short sanctuary has round windows at high level in the side wall.


The interior is a single undivided  space with a west  gallery, parquet floor, plain plastered walls above a timber panelled dado and giant console brackets at the wall- head carrying the flat sides of the ceiling which has a shallow arched profile along the main axis of the building.  The window openings are plain and all the windows are clear-glazed. Beneath the west gallery is an enclosed lobby with a former baptistery on the north side enclosed by iron railings. At the east end of the nave, canted side walls  link  to  the  short  sanctuary  which  has  a  blind  east  wall  with  an  elaborate Baroque plaster reredos, presumably designed by Mangan. The benches have Italianate ends and are also presumably original fittings.

Heritage Details

Architect: W.C. Mangan

Original Date: 1932

Conservation Area: Yes

Listed Grade: Not Listed