Charnwood Road, Shepshed, Loughborough, Leicestershire LE12
A very late Gothic Revival church, designed by Allan Reid of Young & Reid and typical of the best interwar traditional churches: well- designed with a high standard of finish. It replaced an earlier church designed by A.W.N. Pugin.
The first Catholic church in Shepshed was built in 1842 in Belton Street for Ambrose Phillipps de Lisle. The architect was A.W.N. Pugin. This building still survives (and is listed grade II) but has been converted to residential use. By the end of the nineteenth century Pugin’s building was too small for the congregation. In 1892 a large house in Charnwood Road was purchased for use as a presbytery by a Dutch benefactor, Fr Janssens. In 1899 he also purchased a large field adjacent to the new presbytery and further sums were raised selling off part of the field for the building of new houses in Garendon Road. Fundraising continued until the mid 1920s, when a legacy made it possible to commission a new church on the Garendon Road site. This was built from designs by Allan Reid of Young & Reid and opened on 10 April 1928. The total cost was about £9,400, with £1,000 more for furnishings and stained glass.
The plan comprises a tall nave and sanctuary under a continuous pitched roof, a southwest tower and lean-to aisles on both sides. The walls are faced with Tucker’s grey sandstone bricks, with dressings of Darley Dale stone and roof coverings of grey Delabole slate. The church is in a free version of fifteenth century Gothic. The west front has a broad central entrance doorway beneath a niche with a figure of Our Lord. The doorway is flanked by pairs of small windows with trefoiled heads and above is a broad pointed window of five lights with reticulated tracery. The aisles have triplets of small trefoiled lights under straight heads, while the continuous clerestorey has paired lights with a quatrefoil in the tracery. The tower is set back slightly from the west front and is of three main stages, with corner buttresses, a two- light window in each face of the bell-stage and a battlemented parapet. The east end wall of the sanctuary rises sheer with as three light-window with reticulated tracery.
The interior is plain and dignified, with a parquet floor, plain plastered walls and arcades of moulded pointed stone arches on octagonal stone piers with moulded capitals. The clerestorey windows above each arch are framed by stone wall-shafts brought down from the principal trusses of the elaborate open timber roof onto the nave side of the arcade piers. In the westernmost bay is a timber gallery with the organ placed against the north side wall so as not to obscure the west window. There is no chancel arch or other division between nave and sanctuary, which is marked simply by a full length two-light window on each side. In 2003 the interior was reordered and the altar brought forward but the gradine remains against the flat east wall. At the east end of the north aisle a Lady Chapel has been formed with an altar brought from the old church. A baptistery has been formed at the east end of the south aisle with the stone font which also came from the old church. Most of the windows in the building except those in the sanctuary are clear glazed. The timber benches are presumably original.
Architect: Young & Reid
Original Date: 1928
Conservation Area: No
Listed Grade: Not Listed