Building » Hayes – The Immaculate Heart of Mary

Hayes – The Immaculate Heart of Mary

Botwell Lane, Hayes, Middlesex UB3

A large suburban church, built in the early 1960s, the plan conventionally longitudinal but the details entirely of their own time. Overall the building has some distinction, especially in the wide, light interior, and contains stained glass and other works of art of some quality.

The parish was founded in 1912 by the Claretian Missionaries. The present church was built in 1961 from designs by Burles, Newton & Partners, who built many Catholic churches in and around London at the time, and has a spatial arrangement and much detail that is paralleled at their contemporary church of Our Lady Queen of the Apostles at nearby Heston (design 1961-62, qv).


The church is oriented to the south; directions given in this report are liturgical.

The church is faced with thin light brown bricks and is given a longitudinal plan, with a wide (c. 40ft), seven-bay nave and correspondingly wide aisles. The north aisle has a very narrow outer aisle. At the northwest corner stands a tall campanile with strongly accentuated projections and recessions on the west and east faces, and with the bell openings constructed on white concrete in contrast to the buff brick of the rest. A chapel projects from the northeast part of the north aisle. The aisles are covered in wave-like roofs which are reflected internally by the low, segmental coverings of each bay. At the west end is a broad nine-light window with plain mullions, like a stripped version of a great west window in a major Perpendicular church. The side walls of the nave are dominated by a vast clerestory arrangement forming a continuous wall of glass: each bay has three vertical and four horizontal panels.

The interior is a large, light vessel, illuminated by the west window and the huge clerestory. The nave opens at its sides with quite low, segmental arches to the aisles. In the aisles there are segmental windows filled with bright semi-abstract stained glass. The piers are of reinforced concrete and are covered with small pieces of turquoise mosaic – they are continued upwards as piers separating the bays of the clerestory. At the west end is a gallery containing the organ.

Fixtures and fittings: 

  • Stained glass. In the bay west of the north entrance is a window with very thick, dalle de verre glass, original to the building of the church, designed by P. Fourmaintraux and made by James Powell & Sons. Similar work was used later (1964-6) in the former baptistery at Heston. Extensive, brightly coloured glass by Goddard & Gibbs in the aisle windows: documented dates relate to the early 1970s; 
  • Painting over high altar by Pietro Annigoni, 1962, of the Virgin and Child and given a modern and highly symbolic treatment;
  • Painting of St Jude by Daniel O’Connor (east end of north aisle);
  • Stations of the Cross in Perspex: gold on black by A. Fleischmann;
  • Statue of the Virgin by Michael Clark against the west window.
Heritage Details

Architect: Burles, Newton & Partners

Original Date: 1961

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not Listed