Building » Crowthorne and Sandhurst – Holy Ghost

Crowthorne and Sandhurst – Holy Ghost

New Wokingham Road, Crowthorne, Berkshire

A buff-brick church with a certain amount of distinction both internally and externally. The elevation to the road is the most important visually and achieves an Italianate feel through the detailing of the nave front and, more especially, that of the tower. The church is a key element in the local landscape. The interior is distinguished by tall brick pilasters and arches embracing the windows. 

he site for the church was purchased in 1908 and a temporary building (a ‘tin hut’) erected (blessed November 1909). This was pulled down in 1961 to make way for the present building where Mass was first said at Christmas the same year.

The church is oriented west, so directions given here are liturgical.

Built of buff bricks and covered with concrete tiles. The body of the church has seven bays with an apsidal sanctuary and a western narthex. The principal entrance is at the west end through a pair of doors under a round arched head: above is an oculus window. The centre part of this elevation is slightly recessed. To the northwest of the structure sits a three-stage Italianate tower, the lower tiers of which have mostly small rectangular windows while the top stage has a double tier of paired round-arched lights. The tower is capped with a low pyramidal roof. The side walls have high-set windows with metal frames. The windows are square-headed except for two at the east end which are round. A plain, flat-roofed brick garage in placed against the north wall of the nave.

The most notable feature of the interior is the series of seven tall brick pilasters and arches which are brought slightly forward from the main wall-plane and embrace each of the windows. At the east end a semi-circular apse accommodates the altar: it is flanked by a pair of shallow recesses to accommodate the Sacred Heart altar (north) and Lady altar (south). The ceiling is flat and covered with white acoustic tiles. At the west end there is gallery set above three round arches spanning the nave: the arches are glazed and the narthex behind accommodates a small repository and the spiral stair to the gallery (south) and a confessional (north). The sanctuary is up one step from the nave and the altar is placed on three further steps: the steps are formed of travertine with grey marble risers.

The altar has five round arches and is made of travertine with grey marble for the slab and infilling for the arches. The tabernacle came from a private chapel at Ascot and was designed by J.F. Bentley (information from Peter Howell). The lectern is in a similar style and dates from about 2001. The font is made of limestone, is tapered and has a marble top with stainless steel bowl.

Heritage Details

Architect: Mr Bartlett

Original Date: 1961

Conservation Area: Yes

Listed Grade: Not Listed