Building » Palmers Green – St Monica

Palmers Green – St Monica

Stonard Road, London N13

A church in the Perpendicular Gothic style typical of the period just before the First World War. The Sacred Heart chapel has unusually rich mosaic decoration.

The Eastern Counties Railway through Palmer’s Green was opened in 1871 but it was not until the 1890s that there was a sudden increase in residential development. A new parish was established in 1910 and when Fr Gallagher was appointed parish priest in 1912 he purchased land and erected a temporary tin church. The present church was designed by Edward Goldie and opened in 1914; the presbytery was built at the same time. The tin church continued in use as a parish hall until replaced by the present hall in 1932.  One of the principal benefactors to the church was Theodore Singer, who paid for the elaborate mosaic decoration in the Sacred Heart chapel.

Church and presbytery were linked by a new baptistery and sacristy in 1964.  The whole building was re-roofed in 1980 and the stonework was cleaned and repaired in 1984.  The east window by Carmel Cauchi was installed at the same time.  The sanctuary was reordered by Gerald Murphy in 1997.


The church is in the Perpendicular Gothic style. The external walls are faced with rock-faced stone laid in courses, the roof coverings are clay tiles. The plan comprises the nave under a pitched roof with shorter side aisles under shallow-sloped pent roofs, a two-stage southeast tower and a short chancel lower than the nave. The west gabled end of the nave has diagonal corner buttresses, an entrance doorway with a four-centred arched head and a four-light traceried pointed window over. The side aisles have triple trefoiled lights under a straight head. The clerestories have smaller windows of similar pattern. The tower has two-light traceried windows in each face of the upper stage, a battlemented parapet and a half-height octagonal stair turret attached to the northwest corner. The sanctuary has one square-headed window each side and a five-light traceried east window under a four-centred head.

The interior walls are plastered and painted; the floor is parquet.  Across the west end is a timber organ gallery with the space beneath enclosed as a vestibule. The nave has five-bay arcades of broad pointed stone arches. The inner mouldings of the arches spring from pilaster responds; the outer mouldings die into the piers. Over all is a panelled barrel roof. There are pointed arches at the ends of the aisles into side chapels and a tall pointed chancel arch which dies into the responds. The sanctuary is raised on two steps. Its principal feature is the east window with the Resurrection in stained glass by Carmel Cauchi (1984).  The modern sanctuary fittings presumably date from the 1997 reordering.  In contrast, the Sacred Heart chapel at the east end of the north aisle has a carved wooden reredos and elaborate mosaic wall decoration. The aisle windows have stained glass of 1930 by Mayer of Munich.

Heritage Details

Architect: Edward Goldie

Original Date: 1914

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not Listed