Building » Kilburn (West) – Immaculate Heart of Mary

Kilburn (West) – Immaculate Heart of Mary

Stafford Road, London NW6

A former Methodist chapel of c1880, roughly adapted for use as a Catholic church after the Second World War.  The original 1880s interior has been lost. Ambitious rebuilding plans in the early 1970s produced a new presbytery and parish hall, but the intended new church did not materialise.

Post-war growth in the parish of Sacred Heart, Kilburn was so great that in 1948 Fr Danaher bought a redundant former Methodist chapel in West Kilburn and established it as a Mass centre.  The building had a ground-floor hall with the chapel above. It is not clear whether the chapel was originally taller: the front now appears oddly squat and the present west pedimented gable is clearly modern. In the early 1970s planning permission was granted for a new church with a hall and presbytery on an enlarged site in the centre of a new public housing development.  The three-storey presbytery and two-storey hall were built first but the new church was never commenced, though there may have been some alterations to the internal arrangements.  In 1980 plans by the architects Slater Hodnett proposed raising the church by an additional storey but these came to nothing. 


The original former Methodist chapel is a very simple preaching box of yellow stock brick with red and blue brick decoration and a pitched slate roof.  The west front is of three bays defined by rusticated and oddly short pilasters, with an arched central doorway and side windows.  The front is capped by a plain brick gable or pediment which is clearly modern. The original front door is no longer in use and the front of the church is partly obscured by a modern brick wall The side walls are of five bays with two tiers of rectangular segment-headed openings whose timber sash windows have marginal lights. The east end is embedded in the 1972 parish centre and entry to the church is now by way of a long ramp on the south side of the centre which leads to a vestibule serving both parts of the building.  The first-floor church interior is orientated with the altar on the north wall. The simple space has plain plastered walls and flat ceiling, and is subdivided into an ante-chapel of two bays at the west end which can be divided from the main church space by a folding screen. Opposite the ante-chapel is another folding screen which can be opened to gain additional accommodation from the attached community hall. The fittings are of the simplest, with the exception of the gilded timber altar with its arcaded front.

Heritage Details

Architect: Not established; John Kirby FRIBA

Original Date: 1880

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not Listed