Arbrook Lane, Esher, KT10 7DS
The Holy Name, Esher, is a fine church, designed in a conservative Romanesque style and carefully constructed with traditional materials. Well grouped with its ancillary buildings and surrounded by greenery, it makes an important contribution to the conservation area.
The present church was begun in 1960 and completed the following year. The architect was Francis George Broadbent (1909-1983). Before joining the Royal Engineers in 1939, he worked first for Sir Herbert Baker and then H S Goodhart-Rendel. After the war he returned to the practice of Goodhart-Rendel, becoming a partner in 1947. In the 1950s and 1960s, he was responsible for the construction of a large number of Roman Catholic churches and schools in the Archdiocese of Southwark. He retired in 1980 and died three years later.
His obituary in the Times says “His churches are unassuming and unpretentious, fitting well into the suburban landscape for which most of them are designed. At a time when many new churches were “modernistic” and extravagant in design, Frank Broadbent’s were simple buildings of brick and pantile, often with patterned brick decoration.”
That description fits his church at Esher well. The style is North Italian Romanesque. The design is of good quality throughout: the massing of the exterior of the church, with its arcaded west front and tall campanile, is well handled, and the proportions of the interior are also good. The sanctuary, which has been re-ordered with a forward altar, is lit to either side by clerestory windows. It has a fine east window filled with stained glass by the Harry Clarke Studios.
Architect: Francis George Broadbent
Original Date: 1961
Conservation Area: Yes
Listed Grade: Not Listed