Building » Hendon – Our Lady of Dolours

Hendon – Our Lady of Dolours

Egerton Gardens, London NW4

A mid-nineteenth-century Gothic Revival church by Gilbert Blount, considerably enlarged and reorientated in the 1920s with some interesting fittings, including good nineteenth and twentieth century stained glass.

A Hendon mission was established in 1849, with Mass said by Passionist Fathers in a wooden hut from 1850.  In 1861 the Passionists moved to Highgate, where a splendid new church designed by Gilbert Blount was built from in 1863 (qv). Blount was also the architect for the church of Our Lady, which opened in 1863.

In 1924 Fr James Goggin commissioned T. H. B. Scott to provide designs for enlarging the church.  Scott reversed the original correct orientation of the building, added a new transept and sanctuary with side chapels and sacristy at the west end, reused the rose window from the original west gable wall at the east end above a new gallery in the former sanctuary and built a substantial new presbytery attached to the east end of the church.  A new parish hall designed by Kyle Smart Associates was erected to the south of the church in 2004.


The church is in a simple thirteenth-century Gothic style.  The walls are faced with Kentish ragstone; the older (1860s) part of the building has dressings of Bath stone, the later (1920s) part has dressings of Portland stone.  The roofs are covered with slate.  The plan comprises an aisled nave with southeast porch, north and south transepts and a short sanctuary flanked by flat-roofed sacristies.  The nave and present sanctuary are covered by a continuous steeply-pitched roof but at the (liturgical) west end of the nave is a lower section of roof over the original sanctuary. This west end abuts the presbytery and is hidden from view.  The side elevations of Blount’s church have simple pointed windows of two and three lights in the aisle walls, with small quatrefoil window openings in the nave clerestory. The transepts have corner buttresses and a single trefoiled light in the gable walls. The sanctuary east wall has two similar lights at low level and a statue of Our Lady by Philip Lindsey Clark in the gable.

Internally, the original sanctuary now contains the timber west organ gallery which may come from the original church. The organ itself is by J. Walker & Sons and was installed in 1960. The gallery space opens from the nave through what was originally the pointed chancel arch which rests on double wall shafts with foliated capitals and carved corbels.  The gallery space has a scissor-braced timber roof which cuts across the large reused traceried rose window. The nave has four-bay arcades of moulded pointed arches on stone columns with moulded capitals and bases and an open timber roof with arch braced collars. The principal trusses are carried down onto timber wall shafts with carved stone corbels. A tall pointed arch on single wall shafts with angel corbels opens into the crossing, which has a timber wagon ceiling. By contrast, the moulded arches into the transepts and sanctuary die into the jambs. Above the traceried stone reredos against the liturgical east wall is a pointed arch over a top-lit niche containing a carved figure of the Pieta, carved by Philip Lindsey Clark. Other fittings of interest include the stone altar designed by Edward J. Walters, the architect son of the better-known F. A. Walters.

Stained glass of note includes the following:

  • North transept: St Teresa, 1936 by John Trinick
  • North aisle: English Martyrs, in memory of Canon Carter (d.1924), in the style of Hardman Studios; St Francis (a World War II memorial), signed by Hardman Studios; Christ in the carpenter’s shop, 1996 by Goddard &      Gibbs; St Francis de Sales with Cardinal Bourne and St George, 1938, in      memory of Cardinal Bourne (d.1935), in the style of Hardman
  • South transept: Resurrection, 1999, by Matthew Lloyd-Winder
  • South aisle: Christ and a female saint (Hardman); St Elizabeth of Hungary and St Teresa of Lisieux, with Suffer the children, in memory of Betty Hoylen (d. 1931).
Heritage Details

Architect: G. Blount; T. H. B. Scott

Original Date: 1863

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not Listed