Morland Road, Corby, Northants
An early 1960s church of individual design and strong character by a noted local architectural firm.
Corby was designated a New Town in 1950 and Millais Green (as the area was called) was southeast of the new Civic Centre etc, with St Patrick’s church built in 1960-2 to served the expanding town, from designs by the Kettering firm of Gotch, Saunders and Surridge. The same architects later built the Church of Scotland church of St Ninian, Corby (1967-8).
St Patrick’s church has the altar facing west but this description is written assuming conventional orientation with the altar facing east. The church has a reinforced concrete structure clad in brick and stone. The flat and shallow-pitched roofs are not visible from the ground and the eaves are boxed in. The church is not especially large but the impression of the main block of nave and sanctuary achieves some monumentality. The aisles, by contrast, are modest in scale and there is a northeast projection and an unequal-sided octagonal baptistery to the northwest. The west front is clad in coursed rock-faced limestone with full-height clasping buttresses with a pronounced batter. Tripartite porch with three individual segment-arched hoods supported on slender pillars. Within is a central entrance with glazing to either side giving light into the narthex. The entrance stands forward, forming a small porch, the sides of which are clad in what appears to be marble. Above is a single circular window with a cross in the tracery, seemingly floating unsupported. The west ends of the aisles are also glazed. The northwest baptistery is also clad in stone and has its eight sides of alternating length. Steeply pitched ‘candle snuffer’ roof. To the long sides the aisles do not register as visually significant. Above the walls are brick with a striking raised geometrical pattern, divided into vertical panels. Three tall and narrow windows with round-arched heads barely interrupt the busy effect. On the north side there is a projection at the east end of the aisle with a triple arched roof echoing that of the west porch. The sanctuary is apsed, once more stone clad; with tall window slots at the point where the body of the church is met. A fleche rises from the sanctuary roof.
Within, the concrete frame is exposed. The columns taper downwards and the roof supports branch out at 45 degree angles to form a bold geometrical grid. The low arcades have shallow triangular-headed arches, echoed above in the underside of the wall heads. The main walls of the nave are plastered but the aisle walls are of exposed brick. The sanctuary apse is finished with a bold vertical pattern. At the west end the three shallow arches of the external porch are carried through to form the roof of the narthex and on to provide the underside of the west gallery. A spiral staircase within a faceted glazed enclosure gives access to it. The west window incorporating a cross has subdued coloured glass and decorative irregularly arranged lead cames. The baptistery is now a repository and the plain octagonal font stands at the northeast corner of the nave.
Architect: Gotch, Saunders & Surridge
Original Date: 1962
Conservation Area: No
Listed Grade: Not Listed