Building » Crowthorne and Sandhurst – Immaculate Conception

Crowthorne and Sandhurst – Immaculate Conception

Yorktown Road, Sandhurst, Berkshire

A relatively modest structure in buff brick. The church has a typical layout for its time – a rectangular worship area with a narthex at the entrance end, and a sacristy and a utility area at the end of the sanctuary. The interior is dominated by a wide, tall roof and features laminated timber trusses which were also a popular feature of economical churches in the diocese in the 1950s and 1960s.

The church presents a broad west end to the street across an extensive car park. The end elevation is wider than the body of the building as it accommodates a narthex with toilets (south) and stairs to the gallery and confessional (north) which extend beyond the walls of the worship space. There is a round-arched western entrance flanked by one-light windows. To the south is a low tower with two plain round-arched belfry lights and a transverse saddleback roof. A tower is embraced by the parish centre which extends out at right angles from the south-west part of the church. The roofing for the church and parish centre is red, ribbed tiles. The parish centre was designed to harmonise with the church and shares with it buff brick walling and round-arched windows with tiles laid edge-on in the heads. To each of the five bays of the worship area there are pairs of round-arched lights with metal casement windows. The side walls are fairly low (about 10ft high) and the elevations are dominated by the tall, wide roof.

The church is divided into six bays (including the narthex) by prominent laminated timber trusses, which, with the height and breadth of the roof and low side walls, are the dominating elements of the interior. At the east end are three round arches, the tallest, central one leading to a recess with canted walls: the northern arch houses an altar dedicated to and statue of St Joseph, the southern one an altar dedicated to and statue of Our Lady. There are two steps up to the sanctuary and a further one up to the tabernacle: the flooring is of polished cream limestone and the risers grey marble. At the west end there is a gallery set on utilitarian posts, and with a frontal of alternating plain boards and panels with balusters.

The limestone altar rests on a rendered painted base with concave sides on the north and south. The lectern harmonises with it. The font is a tapering circular piece formed out of white polished marble and bears an incised Dove descending. Seating is in the form of benches with simply-treated ends.

Heritage Details

Architect: Father Daniel Boyle

Original Date: 1959

Conservation Area: Yes

Listed Grade: Not Listed