Building » Hornsea – Sacred Heart

Hornsea – Sacred Heart

Hornsea, East Yorkshire

The church is of some architectural merit and has a character redolent of the 1950s. The bold forms of the broad front and the semi-circular stair tower and sanctuary, together with the sloping buttresses and lack of fuss, give the building some appeal.

Until 1928 (the Diocesan yearbook gives the date as 1925) Catholics at Hornsea attended Mass at the private chapel at Marton, about five miles away, but in that year a wooden church was built in Hornsea. The present permanent church was built in 1956 from designs prepared by George I. Williams of Williams, Sleight & Co., Hull.


Built of yellow brick with a canted tiled roof to the nave and a roof hidden behind a parapet to the apsed sanctuary. Parapet roof also to the low sacristy projecting on the north side and small chapel on the south side. The shape of the nave roof creates wide stepped gables, that at the western end giving a massiveness and something of the appearance of a tower. Stepped door surround creating a shallow entrance porch. Mosaic roundel above of Christ and the Sacred Heart. The entrance is flanked by two small slit windows. Stepped triplet of round-headed windows above. The side walls of the nave have pairs of tall square-headed windows and slanting buttresses. Four shorter windows set higher up in the sanctuary. The round end of the sanctuary is unadorned and is striking in its simple bold form, echoed by a staircase projection from the northwest corner of the nave.

The interior volume appears unexpectedly large because of the canted roof form. This has heavy trusses (probably boxed-in steel) supported on stone corbels and recessed rectangular panels. Plain semi-circular sanctuary arch. Flat ceiling to the sanctuary, also divided into sunk panels. West gallery oversailing an internal porch, confessionals and baptistery. In the latter is a marble octagonal font. The sanctuary is dominated by a full height mosaic reredos, with a visually strong lozenge pattern in colour bands, enclosed within a border. This was added a few years after the church was built. Marble altar and communion rails, of the time of the church and of integral design. Small side chapel, also with contemporary marble altar and communion rails. Open-backed pine pews, possibly from the earlier church.

Heritage Details

Architect: Williams, Sleight & Co.

Original Date: 1956

Conservation Area: Yes

Listed Grade: Not Listed