Building » Sanderstead – Holy Family

Sanderstead – Holy Family

Limpsfield Road, Sanderstead, Surrey CR2

The church is a utilitarian structure of the 1950s, and is not of special architectural or historical interest. The adjoining building, no. 117 Limpsfield Road, is occupied by a religious order but includes the parish hall; it is a former smithy dating back possibly to the early eighteenth century, and is an important survival in an area of mainly twentieth-century suburban character.

Until 1942 the nearest church serving the Catholics in Sanderstead was St Gertrude in South Croydon. In that year a schoolroom at ‘The Skep’ (no.117 Limpsfield Road) was made available as a Mass Centre. When the school closed after the war, the diocese acquired the building and land. A resident priest was appointed in 1950 and in 1957 a simple and functional church was built, seating 250. The architect was Bernard Moss ARIBA and the builder R. J. Green of the Eagle Construction Company. The former schoolroom/Mass centre then became the parish room.


The church is a utilitarian structure, with a low wide aisleless nave under an open truss roof, and a lower and narrower recessed sanctuary with a curved plaster ceiling. It is externally clad in brick and plastered panels, with a bitumen felt roof covering. Inside there are no furnishings of particular note.

Of greater architectural and historic interest is the adjoining house at no.117, now occupied by Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate. Formerly known as The Skep, this is a building of apparently early eighteenth  century date, but with a 1783 datestone on the flank elevation. For many years this was a forge and smithy, before becoming a house and school in the early twentieth century. It has a tile-hung front elevation with a projecting central gabled brick porch. The northern return elevation has several courses of stone at the bottom with brickwork above. The roof is tiled, with a gablet on the north side. A low, single storey former smithy (now the parish hall) extends to the north and is also of brick, under a tile roof which is hipped at the north end. The windows on the house have been replaced in uPVC.

Heritage Details

Architect: Bernard F. Moss

Original Date: 1957

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not Listed