Building » Holloway – Sacred Heart of Jesus

Holloway – Sacred Heart of Jesus

Eden Grove, London N7

A Gothic design of 1869-70 by F. H. Pownall with attached presbytery and an unfinished tower. Apart from the reordered sanctuary, the church retains several historic furnishings and stained glass. The church and presbytery make a strong contribution to the local conservation area.

The mission was founded in December 1854 from St John the Evangelist, Islington, and was initially based at 5 Albany Place. By March 1855, 19 Campbell Place was rented and served as a school during the week and as a church on Sundays. The current site was bought in 1867. The foundation stone was laid in 1869 and the church was opened on 18 August 1870. The architect was F. H. Pownall and the builders Messrs Carter of Holloway Road. The cost of the church was around £7,000. The intended upper stage of the tower and spire were never completed, leaving a rather truncated-looking square tower. A presbytery/school was built around the same time, to the north, also from Pownall’s designs (with a separate school building added later, between the 1890s and c.1915).

According to Rottmann, the high altar was erected in the 1880s and the marble altar rails in c.1922. In 1928 the church was consecrated. In 1960-61 Archard & Partners installed a west gallery, reordered the sanctuary, and enlarged and refurnished the sacristies. A new organ was installed, as were new confessionals. The new altar was blessed by Bishop Cashman on 7 March 1961. The pulpit and the altar rails were removed during the re-ordering.

In 2003, listed building consent was granted for internal and minor external alterations to the presbytery, in order to create two self-contained flats. The former school was converted by Barnsbury Housing Association into eleven residential units (c.2006-08; now Claringbull Court, 66 Eden Grove). In 2011, the demolition of the former post-war Sacred Heart Community Centre was approved, which is to be replaced by an annexe to the Sacred Heart RC primary school whose main site is nearby in George’s Road.


The church is described in the list entry (below), which can be augmented as follows (the church faces southwest, but the comments below follow conventional liturgical orientation):

  • The Stations are by Anton Dapre, not ‘Drape’, as stated in the list entry.
  • Outside the west end is a First World War memorial, with crucifix and inscribed marble base (c.1918, Jones & Willis).
  • Inside at the west end are memorial tablets to the Rev. William Ignatius Dolan, John J. Connolly (died 1906) and his wife Maria (died 1927), as well as a timber war memorial. 
  • At the northwest is the post-war baptistery with rails, marble floor, aumbry and a circular font.
  • The Lady Chapel at the northeast has a travertine and marble reredos which must have been installed after the reordering of 1960-61 as an older altar is shown in its place in a photo in the CBR of 1961. The statue of the Virgin dates from 1924; beside it is a statue of St Joseph by Vanpoulles.
  • Beside the Lady Chapel is the organ of c.1961.
  • The marble and mosaic sanctuary furniture and marble floor dates from 1960-61 (Archard & Partners). Set against the east wall is the reredos, a vertical panel of verde antico with a crucifix on a black marble cross.
  • The Blessed Sacrament chapel at the southeast (originally dedicated to St Joseph) has a modern travertine and marble reredos and altar.
  • Sculpture in the church includes a seated St Peter in bronze (Froc-Robert, Paris), as well as statues of the Sacred Heart, St Theresa, St Patrick, St Antony and St George. A large crucifix in the southeast side chapel is on loan from the Greek Orthodox Community of Islington.
  • Stained glass includes the east window by Hardman (1870; the Sacred Heart and St Margaret Mary Alacoque and angels), the east rose (Sacred Heart and angels), the northeast chapel window (possibly by Lavers & Westlake?; Annunciation and Nativity) and a post-war window in the baptistery (Wainwright & Waring; Annunciation and Baptism of Christ). The other windows are by Thomas Crew: the west window (1891; mysteries of the Rosary), the west rose (1891; Risen Christ), four windows in the south aisle (1890; Saints Thomas More, John Fisher and Edmund Campion, Blessed Margaret Pole) and possibly also the southeast chapel window (1892; St Joseph’s Dream and the Flight into Egypt)
  • The church has a Minton tile floor in the nave and aisles.

List description


Church and presbytery. 1869-70. Founded by Canon Cornelius Keens, designed by F.H. Pownall. Yellow stock brick with white and black brick banding, some stone dressing. Slate roofs. Early English style. High gabled west front with low north aisle abuts large square tower. Linked to presbytery through archway with 4/4 sashes over. Stair turret with steep roof. Narrow gabled wing three storeys plus basement, two-window-range of 4/4 sashes. Church interior faced with red brick and black banding, stone dressings including carved stiff leaf capitals to nave arcades by Farmer and Brindley. Tall nave with clerestory and hammerbeam roof Stations of the Cross, painted carved oak in high relief by Anton Drape, 1909. Sanctuary with green and white marble altar, side altars and gallery remodelled 1960-1 by A.H. Archard. (RCHM: Islington Chapels: 1992-).

Listing NGR: TQ3078785132

Heritage Details

Architect: F. H. Pownall

Original Date: 1870

Conservation Area: Yes

Listed Grade: Grade II