Building » Stroud – Immaculate Conception

Stroud – Immaculate Conception

Beeches Green, Stroud, Gloucestershire, GL5

A large Gothic Revival church of the 1850s in a Geometrical style of c.1300 by a well-known Catholic architect. It has an impressive, spacious interior with some fine fittings, including a G. F. Bodley organ case.

In 1855 Mrs Emily Sandys, the convert widow of an Anglican clergyman, opened a small school for Catholic children in a house in London Road. In February of the following year the Stroud mission began, served by the Dominicans of Woodchester. A new church was commenced in 1856, designed by the well-known Catholic architect Charles Alban Buckler, and opened on 20 August 1857, when Cardinal Wiseman preached. The church was dedicated to the Immaculate Conception, a dogma which had only been formally defined in 1854. What we see today was intended to be the nave and aisles but the intended site of the sanctuary was encroached upon by the adjoining Dominican Convent of St Rose of Lima and its buildings. The orientation of the church was therefore reversed and the porch converted into the Sacred Heart chapel. The church was served by the Dominicans until 1944, when care of the parish transferred to the diocese.

The convent group was built from designs by Benjamin Bucknall and developed in stages from 1862, with the main buildings erected in 1867 and extended in 1882, and a fine chapel (based on the Ste Chapelle, Paris) added in 1888-94. The nuns moved away in 1976, donating the Bodley organ from their chapel to the Immaculate Conception church.


Directions given here are liturgical. The church is much hemmed in by other buildings and is not easy to appreciate as a whole. It presents a tough exterior with rock-faced local stone. The style is based on the Geometrical architecture of about 1300. It is covered with slate roofs and has lean-to aisles. It has six-bays with a clerestory of small circular windows, a large eight-light window at what is now the east end, and a rose window at the opposite end.

Inside the quatrefoil piers are tall and slender and have foliage capitals and double-chamfered arches. The organ case of 1894 is from the former convent chapel of St Rose of Lima and was designed by the great High Church Anglican architect G. F. Bodley and made by Thomas Liddiatt of Stroud. The richly carved Stations of the Cross are of stone set in alabaster frames and, along with the Calvary, were the work of Alfred B. Wall of Cheltenham and date from 1887. The stained glass is mostly by Hardman & Co. of Birmingham and dates from 1887 with one earlier window of 1857 in the north aisle. Other Victorian features are the openwork pulpit, multi-shafted reredos, and the rich setting for the Sacred Heart statue at the entrance to the sanctuary. There is also unattractive abstract glass in the east window, said to represent the Annunciation, dating from of 1979 (maker unknown). Other modern abstract glass is placed in the aisles. The nave seating consists of modern open-backed pews.

List description



1858. Architect Charles Alban Euckler. Roman Catholic Parish Church. Rock-faced rustication with ashlar dressings. Pitched slate roof. Aisled. 5-bay pointed arcade. 2 small chapels off “South aisle, 1 off North aisle. Quatrefoil oculi in clerestory; bar tracery in aisle windows, and “East” window; rose window at “West” end. The Church of the Immaculate Conception, its Presbytery, Sacristy and Parish Hall the Convent of St Rose of Lima, The Rosary, and Beechville form a group.
Listing NGR: SO8499105439



Mid C19 Former school. Coursed rubble. Ashlar dressings. Pitched slate roof, 2 storeys. Buttress along north side. Mullioned windows on ground floor. Pointed mullioned windows on 1st floor,with gables above. The Church of the Immaculate Conception its Presbytery,Sacristy and Parish Hall, the Convent of St.Rose of Lima, The Rosary, and Beechville form a group.
Listing NGR: SO8500705435

Parish hall


Mid C 19.Former school. Coursed rubble. Ashlar dressings. Pitched tile roof. 1 storey,Rose window at west end. 3 lancets at east end.Group lancets along north side. Bellcote on east gable end. The Church of the Immaculate Concetion,its Presbytery, Sacristy and Parish Hall, the Convent of St Rose of Lima, The Rosary, and Beeehville form group.
Listing NGR: SO8499605455

Former convent


1867. Architect Benjamin Bucknell. House of Dominican sisters. Coursed rubble with ashlar dressings. Pitched tile roofs. 3 storeys and attics, Stone rainwater gutters on prominent corbels at eaves level. Coped gables and kneelers. Staircase turret with pyramidal sprocketed roof, crowned by wooden bellcote: windows graded along line of stairs. Mullioned windows. some with hoodmoulds, some with Caernarvon arches. 2 timber-framed oriels running through lst and 2nd floor levels, and lmore at 2nd floor level only. Porch with tiled roof, taken on wooden brackets. Chapel (added 1888-95 to Bucknell’s design) is aisleless. 5 bays of quadripartite rib vaulting and polygonel chevet. Colonnettes taken on corbels; Remois passage behind. Plate tracery in windows. The Church of the Immaculate Conception, its Presbytery, Sacristy and Parish Hall, the Convent of St Rose of Lima, The Rosary, and Beechville form group.
Listing NGR: SO8494105408

Heritage Details

Architect: C. A. Buckler

Original Date: 1957

Conservation Area: Yes

Listed Grade: Grade II