Beaumont Leys Lane, Leicester LE4
A substantial 1950s brick church in the Romanesque manner, built by the Manchester firm of Reynolds & Scott to serve the new Beaumont Leys housing estate. The triple-domed interior is similar to their church at Wembley, Middlesex.
The first St Patrick’s church in Leicester was built by the Dominicans in 1854 to the designs of Joseph Hansom, mainly to serve the large Irish element in the labouring population in the northwestern part of the city centre. The combined chapel/school still survives in Royal East Street, but is no longer in ecclesiastical use. It is listed Grade II. St Patrick’s was made a separate mission in 1873. Depopulation of inner Leicester after the First World War led to the closure of St Patrick’s in 1940 and the merging of the parish with that of Our Lady in Moira Street.
The new church of St Patrick was built in 1958-9, from designs by Reynolds & Scott (builders G. Duxbury & Sons). The parish hall was built in 1964, the presbytery in 1972. The latter was built in matching materials to the church, from designs by Reynolds & Scott, at a cost of £14,665. The church itself was reordered in 1980 by John Rochford & Partners.
The church is built in the modern Romanesque style, with walls faced in buff-coloured brick and with the roof covered with slate. On plan the building comprises an aisled nave with a pitched roof, a tall southwestern tower, short transepts and a small sanctuary with an eastern apse. The shallow-gabled west front has a central entrance door and tall rounded-headed window above, set slightly forward of the west tower and considerably forward of the main west gable of the nave roof. The tower has pairs of small windows on each face, twin belfry openings in the ringing stage and a pyramidal roof. The flat-roofed side aisles and the tall nave wall behind are articulated by two shallow projections with three small windows in the aisle and a single large round-headed window in the nave clerestorey. The transepts do not project beyond the line of the aisles. They have shallow gables like the west front and the south transept fronting the road has an entrance door with window above like the western entrance. The sanctuary is lower than the nave with a pitched roof and a pair of round-headed windows in each side. The apsidal east end has similar windows.
Internally the nave is formed of three square bays, divided by semi-circular arches and each bay is covered by a flat saucer dome. The nave is lit by large semi-circular windows set high in the wall. At the west end is a choir gallery with an enclosed narthex below. The aisles are separated from the nave by a triple arch arcade in each bay supported on columns of artificial stone. The high transepts have barrel-vaulted ceilings. The sanctuary is slightly lower than the nave and is also barrel vaulted, with a round arch opening to the eastern apse.
The 1980 reordering removed the original stone altar, pulpit and communion rail. Some of the stone was re-used in a new altar and the font was brought from the baptistery and set on a new broad sanctuary step. The mahogany benches of the nave are original to the church.
Amended by AHP 27.01.2021
Architect: Reynolds & Scott
Original Date: 1959
Conservation Area: No
Listed Grade: Not Listed