Building » Eyres Monsell, Leicester – St John Bosco

Eyres Monsell, Leicester – St John Bosco

Pasley Road, Eyres Monsell, Leicester

An unassuming brick building of the 1980s serving the post-war Eyres Monsell  housing  estate.     It  is  well-designed  and  has  some  fittings brought from the first church established in the Saffron Lane area in the 1930s.

The first Catholic place of worship in this area was in a Boys’ Club built in 1936 in Stonesby Avenue to serve the community in Saffron Lane.  After the Second World War a new parish was created in 1958 and the present site, within the area designated for the new Eyres Monsell housing estate, was purchased from Leicester City Council in 1964 with the intention of building a new church, hall and presbytery.   The hall was erected in 1965 to the designs of Stuart & Edwards who also provided designs for a presbytery and church.  A presbytery was eventually erected to another design, by Reynolds & Scott, and completed in 1973 at a cost of £22,275. The church was added in 1984, again to a different design by a different architect, Thomas E. Wilson.

The church building is set low down on a gently sloping site.  The exterior walls are faced with brown brick and the extensive monopitch roofs are covered with grey asbestos cement slates. The main body of the building is of one storey only with a shallow-pitched hipped roof towards the street which wraps round both ends of the building.   Above the ridge rises a continuous clerestorey formed by the rear roof- slope.   The side walls of the main building are pierced by simple slit windows in groups of three and the canted sides of the east end denote the sanctuary.

The interior is a single broad space. Set into the brick-faced side walls are the steel verticals of the portal frame which supports the broad roof which has a plastered ceiling.  At the ritual east end of the church is a shallow side-lit apsidal sanctuary, set slightly off the main axis to allow for a niche with a statue of the Virgin Mary. The sanctuary fittings are contemporary with the church, as are the mahogany benches, but some other fittings, including a statue of St John Bosco carved by Ferdinand Stuflesser of Bolzano in north Italy, were brought from the previous church.

Heritage Details

Architect: Thomas E. Wilson

Original Date: 1984

Conservation Area: Yes

Listed Grade: Not Listed