Building » Rothwell – St Mary

Rothwell – St Mary

Park Lane, Rothwell, Leeds 26

A small interwar church by Charles Fox, in his trademark round-arched style, in an attractive suburban setting overlooking a public park.

From 1915 Catholics in the Rothwell area attended Mass in St George’s Hospital, served from Hunslet, and then in the Mechanics’ Institute. The current church was built in 1937, from designs by Charles Fox. The foundation stone was laid by Bishop Poskitt on 3 July 1937. St Mary’s was made a separate parish in 1948.


Small church of 1937 by Charles Fox of Dewsbury, in his trademark round-arched style. Red brick laid in stretcher bond, some spare stone/concrete detailing, slate roof.

The entrance is via a small porch at the west end of the south front, facing Park Lane. The south elevation consists of five nave bays with round-arched window openings, stepping up to the gabled west front and down to the narrower chancel. The west front is framed by full height pilaster/piers and has a canted projecting baptistery at ground level, with a circular window above and a cross on the gable. The lower chancel is lit on either side by Venetian windows, a classical touch, and the canted east end is plain, with a stepped parapet. Foundation stone incorporated into the wall on the south side. The north elevation is identical to the south, except lacking a porch, and with flat-roofed sacristies towards the east end.

The interior is a single unaisled space, with the nave separated from the sanctuary by an unmoulded rounded arch. Open timber truss roof of early Christian character and simple, white painted walls (red painted ceiling in the sanctuary). Neo-Romanesque reredos (extended as panelling around chancel walls) and other timber furnishings to the carpeted sanctuary. Wooden statues of the Virgin and Child and Our Lord in recesses on either side of the chancel arch. Plain benches to nave; baptistery at the west end with octagonal stone font behind wooden gates and Renaissance-style medallion of the Virgin and Child in the arch over. Further statues in niches to either side.  Attractive original leadwork to the windows.

Heritage Details

Architect: Charles Fox

Original Date: 1937

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not Listed