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):
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
Architect: F. H. Pownall
Original Date: 1870
Conservation Area: Yes
Listed Grade: Grade II