Building » Greenford – Our Lady of the Visitation

Greenford – Our Lady of the Visitation

Greenford Road, Greenford, Middlesex UB6

The church is very much a product of its time. Externally it is not a building of great distinction but everything is concentrated on the interior with its massive hyperbolic paraboloid arches, which create an impressive space.

The parish was erected in 1928. The first church was a hall (cf. Osterley), built in 1937 and still surviving. The present church was needed to provide more extensive and suitable accommodation and was built in 1960-61 to modern, but pre-Vatican II, design ideas. The architect was David Stokes, son of Leonard Stokes.


The church is oriented to the south so directions given are liturgical.

The church consists of a large, wide nave with a sanctuary beyond: a small Blessed Sacrament chapel is located behind a glazed screen on the north side of the sanctuary and sacristies are provided at the east end. At the west end is a single storey narthex. To the northwest is a tall, gaunt campanile set above an opening between the church and the school. The walls are primarily of loadbearing red brick. The side walls of the nave have narrow strips of brightly coloured glazing. The distinguishing feature of the church is the use of reinforced concrete hyperbolic paraboloid arches in the construction. In the nave area these are marked externally on the south side by small, low brick buttresses while on the north the feet of the arches are exposed (see photo top left; also exposed in the sanctuary area). The south side faces the road and the lower parts of the walls are enlivened with a little polychromy to add visual interest (dark brown detailing set in the otherwise red brick walling). This detailing was added in the 1990s by D. W. Aitken, to replace square concrete panel cladding, which had failed.

The western part of the sanctuary is lit by a mesh of small rectangular windows with white and bright yellow glazing. A similar mesh forms a large west window but here the panels are coloured very light blue. In the nave there is a clerestory on either side formed of a continuous row of clear glazed rectangular panels with aluminium frames and brick piers, 1990s replacements for square concrete framed openings. There is a gallery at the west end. The internal walls are rendered and are painted off-white or cream.

There are no fixtures and fittings that need specific mention other than the confessionals (two on either side) which are pleasingly designed with vertical wooden boarding.

Heritage Details

Architect: D. Stokes

Original Date: 1961

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not Listed