Building » Peterborough – Our Lady of Lourdes

Peterborough – Our Lady of Lourdes

Welland Road, Dogsthorpe, Peterborough PE1 3SY

A large longitudinally-planned concrete-framed church of the mid-1960s, built to serve an area of new housing. The west front makes some attempt at architectural display, but the design is otherwise fairly functional. The original sanctuary has been separated from the nave and adapted to provide meeting spaces.

The church and linked presbytery were built in 1964-5 from designs by Portess & Richardson of Peterborough, to serve an area of new housing. The church was built to seat 350 people, excluding the choir gallery. The design is similar to the same architects’ St Oswald, Walton, Peterborough (qv), completed in 1959, but here there was a freestanding altar in the sanctuary, reflecting the emerging liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council (but not shown in the original plans of 1962).

In the 1980s the sanctuary was separated from the body of the church and divided horizontally to form two meeting rooms. More recently a storeroom in part of the flat-roofed sacristy block at the northeast corner of the church has been adapted to provide WCs next to the northeast entrance.


The building is not conventionally orientated; the liturgical east end faces south. All directions in this description are liturgical.

A substantial building of 1964-5, built with a concrete frame, its walls faced with buff-coloured brick laid in stretcher bond. The main roof is covered with red Roman pantiles. On plan the church consists of a wide nave and a short narrower sanctuary under a continuous pitched roof, with a small west porch, a southeast chapel and a flat-roofed northeast block containing another entrance, sacristies and cloakrooms. The centre of the main front is set forward with a large five-light segment-headed window under deeply projecting eaves and a porch below with a flat roof continued as a cantilevered canopy. To either side are two tiers of two-light windows with stone surrounds. The side elevations are of six bays, defined by the concrete piers of the main frame, with two tiers of three-light stone-framed windows in each bay. The sanctuary is narrower than the nave, with tall strip windows at the side and a blind east wall.

The interior is broad and light, with the concrete frame fully exposed. The side walls are plastered, the roof ceiled above the main beams, the floor of parquet. Across the west end of the nave is a vestibule with a choir gallery above, lit by the west window, its glazing incorporating a large red cross. At the north end of the vestibule is a former baptistery, its glass doors with engraved decoration. The nave windows are clear glazed with small rectangular leaded panes. At the east end of the south side is a small Lady Chapel, once open to the nave but now screened by a glazed partition. There is no structural division between the nave and the sanctuary, simply a dais across the easternmost bay of the nave with a bare wall behind, inserted when the original sanctuary was converted. Furnishings include a plain stone altar, a stone drum font and the original benches in the nave.

Heritage Details

Architect: Portess & Richardson

Original Date: 1962

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not Listed