Tollington Park, London N4
A large and imposing classical church, built as the New Court Congregational Church. The pedimented Corinthian portico is a landmark in the local conservation area. The complex includes a former schoolroom (now hall) in the basement, and an ancillary wing (now the presbytery). The original interior is largely preserved, while most of the furnishings are modern.
The mission was founded in 1925 from St Peter-in-Chains, Stroud Green (qv). A temporary chapel was built in Everleigh Street (in 1938 according to Evinson, in 1927 according to the VCH). The parish was established in 1939, initially as a combined parish with St Gabriel, Archway (qv). In 1959, Canon George Groves acquired the present building from the New Court Congregational Church (founded in 1662).
The foundation stone for the church had been laid on 11 November 1870 and the building was opened in the following September. The architect was C. G. Searle, who also was a deacon of the church and lived nearby at Tollington Villas. The church and the basement schoolroom were built at a cost of £10,500, which included £1,500 for the site. In 1884, the upstairs and downstairs lobbies were reconstructed in order to create an additional ninety seats (the then total capacity being 1,340). An attached building (now the presbytery) originally housed vestries, classrooms and a hall for weekday services).
The firm of Gordon Reeves adapted the building for Catholic use. Notably this involved the removal of the original bow-fronted pulpit (formerly in a central position) and the partitioning of part of the ground floor to create counselling rooms and a crying room (now children’s chapel).
The building is comprehensively described in the list entry (below). The following are just a few additional remarks on the furnishings (using conventional liturgical orientation):
Church built as a New Court Congregational Church, now Roman Catholic. 1871 by C.G.Searle. Yellow brick set in Flemish bond with stone dressings; roof obscured by parapet. Two tiers of windows over basement; five-window range to Tollington Park, seven-window range to returns. The principal elevation is the ritual west end to Tollington Park: steps up to giant tetrastyle Corinthian portico with full entablature, dentil and modillion cornice, and oculus with elaborate foliage surround in the tympanum of the pediment; the portico frames three entrances to the church, flat-arched with moulded stone architraves, consoles carrying segmental pediments and panelled doors of original design; with a keyed oculus over each; the outer bays have flat-arched windows with moulded stone architraves, the lower ones having keystones which link up with the bracketed sills of the round-arched eared and shouldered window above; the entablature continues over these bays and to first bay of return, with balustraded parapet to the outer bays, the parapet stepped up behind the portico. The first bay of the return detailed as for the outer bays of the front; the rest of the return in Evershot Road has giant Doric pilasters with two tiers of windows with moulded stone architraves and keystones between, the lower windows flat-arched, the upper round-arched; brick dentil cornice to parapet; the north return is detailed more simply. Ancillary building to east end, now the presbytery, possibly of a date with the church: three storeys over basement, five-window range; plain stone architraves to segmental-arched windows to ground and first floors, round-arched to second floor; external stack between fourth and fifth bays. Two wrought iron scrolled lamp pendants between the west entrances to the church; lamp standards with elaborate columns to walls flanking steps up to portico.
The interior of the church is a single galleried space with an aedicule at the east end of giant Corinthian columns in antis, supporting entablature with dentil and modillion cornice; curved gallery carried on cast-iron Corinthian columns with elaborate ironwork to the balcony; panelled roof coved to the centre; wrought-iron lighting pendants of late C19 date.
Listing NGR: TQ3086087087
Architect: C. G. Searle
Original Date: 1870
Conservation Area: Yes
Listed Grade: Grade II