Cricklewood Lane, London NW2
A 1930 design in a stripped Romanesque manner typical of the church designs of T. H. B. Scott, with a handsome and austere brick interior. The east end was reordered in the 1970s, when some of the original or early fittings were removed.
The origins of the parish lie in the establishment of a convent of Franciscan nuns in Granville Villa in 1883, where services were held in the chapel. A temporary iron church was built in 1888 near the villa in Child’s Hill. The present site in Cricklewood Lane was purchased in 1900 and a small new church built, with a seating capacity of 200. A presbytery was erected on the same site in 1912/13. In 1918 another church was built by Fr Watts which had three times the capacity of the earlier building, but this was superseded by the present building, which was erected in 1930 to the designs of T. H. B. Scott, with the 1918 building retained as a sacristy and parish hall. Scott’s church has a close family resemblance to several of his other churches. His original design for St Agnes had a tall campanile but this was never built. The church was reordered in 1975 by Campling & Iliffe, when the high altar, baldacchino and communion rails were removed, a new stone altar installed and the Lady Chapel refurbished.
The building is in a simplified modern Romanesque style and comprises a nave with tall side aisles and a short sanctuary with a lower canted apse. The church is not orientated; the liturgical east end lies to the north. The external walls are faced with red brick. The (liturgical) west end of the nave has a gabled front defined by plain brick pilasters with a central entrance door under a shallow porch on stone columns with cushion capitals. Either side of the door is a pair of narrow round-headed windows and above it is an oculus with a brick surround. The west ends of the narrow side aisle rise to plain brick parapets. The side elevations have a flat-roofed bay at either end, with the main roof swept down between and round headed windows high in the wall with brick aprons beneath. The sanctuary has two similar windows on each side. The eastern apse is blind.
The interior is an impressive space, with walls of yellow brick with a blue brick dado and tall four-bay arcades of wide round-headed brick arches on brick piers. Over the nave is a timber king-post roof; the narrow side aisles have flat plaster ceilings. The original narrow west gallery has been considerably enlarged and now fills the first bay of the nave. At the east end is a wide round-headed brick arch to the sanctuary framing a lower arch to the apse. Many of the original sanctuary fittings were removed in the 1975 reordering and the floor levels were also changed. Stained glass in the south aisle includes a Madonna and Child roundel by Hardman Studios and Christ with a child communicant, 1939, by A. A. Orr. The roundel in the west window depicts the cross and symbols of the Passion.
Architect: T. H. B. Scott
Original Date: 1930
Conservation Area: Yes
Listed Grade: Not Listed