Building » Portland – Our Lady and St Andrew

Portland – Our Lady and St Andrew

Grove Road, Grove, Portland, Dorset

A modest Victorian church with a façade of some character and a plain and altered interior, by the noted Catholic church architect Joseph Hansom. There is a contemporary presbytery attached.

The church was built in 1868 to serve the growing Catholic community on Portland, particularly due to the influx of staff at the nearby prison and workers on the construction of the breakwater. It was built by Fr George Poole, who had previously been at Liskeard, and as at Liskeard the architect was Joseph Hansom. The church was built at a cost of £640 and at the same time the builder, Thomas Dodson of Weymouth, built the presbytery for a further £100. In 1881 the chancel and sacristy were added.


Built of coursed limestone, squared and rock-faced to the street façade. Artificial slate roof. Gabled west front with two levels of two-light windows in early fourteenth century style. The lower ones have simple adjoining lancets with trefoiled heads whilst the upper ones are more elaborate with trefoiled heads to the main lights and three cusped spherical triangles in the tracery. Oculus window high in the gable with a trefoil overlaid with a triangle. Placed centrally in the façade is a crocketted and pinnacled niche on a corbelled shaft with ballflower ornament. Statue of Our Lady and Child within. Slightly projecting lean-to single storey projection to the right incorporating a gabled porch with double-chamfered pointed arch, the chamfers dying into the imposts. Hoodmould on stops with shields. Blind window above, similar in form to the window in the main gable. The wall above is set slightly back from the main façade and has a two-light square-headed window with shouldered tracery at the top. To the right again, the façade of the presbytery is in line with the porch. The stonework is not rock-faced and the window openings are of plain sash type, the windows themselves replaced in aluminium. The east wall of the church has a blind pointed arch, probably for an intended sanctuary to be built later. The south side of the church has three pairs of two-light lancet windows, the north side is blind. A later small sanctuary projects from the southeast corner, also of stone and with a mono-pitched roof. The presbytery has a centrally placed gabled rear extension.

The interior is now looking very sad, with the majority of the furnishings removed and plaster removed from much of one wall, as the result of an unresolved damp problem. West gallery on two slender iron columns, with panelled front. Modern glazed screen beneath, to form a small narthex. Canted roof on bold hammerbeams supported on plain chamfered corbels. The blind arch of the east wall is also expressed internally. The surviving furnishings are not artistically important.

*Update: The church closed in 2010*

Heritage Details

Architect: J. A. Hansom

Original Date: 1868

Conservation Area: Yes

Listed Grade: Not Listed