Building » Desborough – Holy Trinity

Desborough – Holy Trinity

Victoria Street, Desborough, Northants

A good late-Victorian former Nonconformist church of distinctive design, prominent in the townscape. The interior is of less importance, although its spatial characteristics are impressive.

After the Second World War several Mass centres were established in St Edward, Kettering parish: St Luke, Kettering (1956, closed 1998), St Bernadette, Rothwell (1959), St Nicholas Owen, Burton Latimer (1971), and Holy Trinity, Desborough (1972). Holy Trinity church had been built as a Methodist chapel in 1894 from designs by Charles Saunders of the Kettering firm of Gotch, Saunders & Surridge. It was purchased for Catholic use in June 1971 for £6,000. Renovation and conversion took over a year and the church opened on a regular basis in October 1972.


Holy Trinity church occupies a conspicuous location on the corner of Victoria Street and Havelock Street. The altar faces north but for the purposes of this description all compass points will assume conventional orientation with the altar facing east. The church is set back just a little from the street, the site enclosed by boundary wall and railings, with the former Sunday school (dated 1896) to the north within the same enclosure. The church is built of red brick of an orange hue with stone dressings and a steeply pitched Welsh slate roof. It is cruciform in plan with a lantern spirelet at the crossing. The north, south and west elevations comprise broad gables with the eaves low down and each elevation has an immense mullioned and transomed window of Venetian form, an odd mix of the Classical and Tudor vocabulary. The west elevation has single storey entrances at either end in small blocks filling in the angles of the cross plan. Beneath the window are stone panels engraved with the names of key donors. Many of the individual bricks have initials cut in, presumably  of minor donors. The east wall is blind and has a lean-to addition. Again, small blocks fill the corner angles of the cross.

The interior is an impressive centralised space with arched trusses crossing diagonally and similar trusses across the shallow cross projections. From the sanctuary arm a semi-circular headed arch leads into the lean-to extension, which originally housed the organ. This chamber is lined with dark matchboarding. The nineteenth century pews remain arranged in a semi-circle.

Heritage Details

Architect: Gotch, Saunders & Surridge

Original Date: 1894

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not Listed