Building » Plymouth – Holy Family

Plymouth – Holy Family

Beacon Park Road, Plymouth, Devon

A functional design of the 1950s by a local architect. The intended campanile would have given the church more of a local presence. 

Holy Family church replaced a Mass centre in the assembly hall at St Boniface’s College. From 1907-30 the Ursuline sisters fromQuimperle,Brittanyhad run a school on the adjoining site,Beaconsfield. The present church was built in 1955 from designs by E.W.T. Elford LRIBA ofPlymouth. The original plans (held in the Diocesan archives) show a campanile attached to the southwest corner, but this was not built, presumably on cost grounds. The Catholic Building Review, 1956 states that the building was ‘constructed on austerity lines, owing to Building Licence restrictions’. The church was finished and furnished in 1961 by Louis de Soissons and Partners, who also designed the presbytery.


Holy Family now forms part of the Holy Trinity parish, with the parish priest based atSt Paul’s in St Budeaux. The presbytery is currently occupied by the Catholic prison chaplain. 

Simple portal framed structure on a longitudinal plan, with a rendered brick exterior and a shallow slate roof. Central entrance with door surround of Art Deco character with large recessed window above bearing a cross and rising up to the gable. Leaded windows.


The interior consists of a wide aisleless nave of five bays with a canted apse, portal framing marking the bay divisions. Sanctuary furnishings by Louis de Soissons and Partners include the altar of polished granite and a canopy over with polychrome coffered panels picked out in gold paint.  There are no other furnishings of particular interest. 

Heritage Details

Architect: E.W.T. Elford LRIBA and Louis de Soissons

Original Date: 1955

Conservation Area: Yes

Listed Grade: Not Listed