Building » Hampton Hill – St Francis de Sales

Hampton Hill – St Francis de Sales

Wellington Road, Hampton Hill, Middlesex TW12

A large brick church, typical of the 1960s and the architects who designed it – Burles, Newton & Partners who built many Catholic churches in London and the South East. It has plain, clear lines and makes much use of tall, narrow strips of glazing as a major architectural feature. The Blessed Sacrament Chapel, with its triangular projections, is also quintessentially of its time.

A large house, called ‘Beecholme’, was taken over by the Mission of St Francis de Sales in 1928 (its cellar forms the crypt of the present church) and was renamed St Margaret’s House. A plain church was built to the east of the present one, on the site of what are now numbers 83 and 85 Prince’s Road. A design for the new church was in place in 1963 and the foundation stone was laid on 3 April 1965; the building was finished by the end of 1966 (but not consecrated until 11 December 1976). The old church was demolished in the 1980s and the two new houses built on the site. The Salesians still serve the church.


This is a large, brick church (seating some 300 people) with the west front facing the main road. The external walls are faced with 2 inch hand-made purple-brown bricks, by Bovingdon Brickworks of Hemel Hempstead. The plan consists of a nave and sanctuary (forming a single vessel), the Blessed Sacrament chapel (originally Lady Chapel) on the south, a narthex, sacristy (east of the chapel) and a tall, southwest bell-tower (with a single bell). The church is quite plain with a sheer west face with a strip of glazed on each side and a central, concrete entrance canopy. Tall, narrow windows articulate the side walls – triple lights in the nave and quadruple in the sanctuary. The Blessed Sacrament chapel has three bays, each with a projecting triangular feature and a copper pyramid roof above which covers a reinforced concrete structure; each of the projections is filled with glazing.

The interior is light and spacious. Towards the east end the sanctuary is canted in at the sides and has no window in its east wall. On the south, the Blessed Sacrament chapel was planned so as to have a full view of the high altar. The low-pitched roof has steel trusses on reinforced concrete collar-beams. Beneath it, the ceiling has pirana pine boarding. There are six bays to the nave and the ceiling alternates in treatment between bays with straight boarding and ones with a cranked-down feature. The sanctuary is treated as a single bay and its roof has straight boarding. At the west end is a wide gallery containing an organ. The walls finishes were described in 1967 as ‘Tyrolean plaster and self-finish plaster’. Three confessionals are located beyond the southwest part of the nave.


  • Abstract coloured glass fills the nave windows and is contemporary with the building of the church. The chancel glass is richer in colour: the colour effect is fine but the symbols (chalice, south; Holy Spirit, north) are overblown. The nave glass (and perhaps that in the sanctuary too) was designed by George Faczynski and executed by Mr O’Neill of Liverpool.
  • The seating consists of plain but well-made, open-backed benches.
  • The organ was purpose-made for the church by J.W. Walker & Sons of London: it dates from 1967 and is said to be very good.
Heritage Details

Architect: John Newton of Burles, Newton & Partners

Original Date: 1965

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not Listed