Lower Green, Westcott, Bucks
A modest former Baptist chapel, the brickwork giving it the industrial character of a railway mission.
St Edmund’s was originally built in about 1907 as a Baptist Chapel. This use ceased in 1934, and it was unused for a while. During the war it was used as a village hall, and its façade is said to have been damaged from use by the Home Guard for target practice.
In 1946 the Ministry of Defence employed McAlpine to build a rocket site on Westcott aerodrome. The McAlpine workforce included many Irish, for whom Canon McHugh of St Joseph’s, Aylesbury purchased the old Baptist chapel for £80, and sent a curate to say Mass on Sundays. The parish was established in 1949. The chapel was restored (including refacing of the brickwork on the front elevation) and dedicated to St Edmund of Abingdon; it re-opened for worship in 1950.
The chapel is built of red brick, the entrance front refaced in Flettons, under a concrete tile roof. Banded red and white brickwork to the arches and white painted metal small-paned casement windows throughout. The gable end to the street has a central round arched doorway with a window on either side and a small oculus in the gable. There are three arched windows on either flank elevation, their arches tucked up against the overhanging eaves. At the rear is a lean-to brick sacristy, presumably c1950.
The interior has not been inspected. A photograph taken from the parish website (above right) shows a plain interior. The wooden altar is said to have come from a church in Ipswich.
Architect: Not established
Original Date: 1907
Conservation Area: Yes
Listed Grade: Not Listed