Building » Tolworth – Our Lady Immaculate

Tolworth – Our Lady Immaculate

Ewell Road, Tolworth, Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey KT6

A large and handsome 1950s Italianate church by W. C. Mangan, who designed many Catholic churches in this style. The exterior is simply detailed. The interior is boldly treated with long brick arcades and a handsome marble reredos at the east end. Despite the reordering of the sanctuary in the 1980s, this is still a good example of a large and confident post-war suburban church.

Fr Redding at St Raphael’s Surbiton was given responsibility for the formation of a new parish at Tolworth in 1933. A site was purchased and a new hall built in 1934 by Oliver & Son which also served as a Mass centre.   In the mid-1950s Fr Redding oversaw the erection of the present church, which was opened in 1958.


The church of Our Lady is a large building in a simplified Italianate style typical of the Mangan firm. The walls are faced with red brick laid in Flemish bond, the roof is covered in pantiles and has wide projecting eaves. On plan, the church comprises a tall nave and sanctuary under a continuous pitched roof, with narrow flat-roofed aisles to the nave and several small lower flat-roofed projections for the baptistery, confessionals, northeast chapel and southeast sacristies. The main west front has a handsome central doorway with a stone surround under a segmental pediment. The doorway is flanked by three small windows on each side and above it is a larger round-headed window recessed under a tall arch, with a figure of Our Lady carried on a scrolled bracket in front. The side walls each have seven pairs of round-headed windows in the aisles and nine circular windows in the clerestorey, which continues the full length of the church. The east end wall is blind, but relieved by three brick pilaster strips.

The interior is a striking composition. The wide nave has a shallow curved ceiling and on each side are tall brick arcades of nine bays with round clerestorey window above which run the full length of the church. At the west end is an organ gallery over the entrance  vestibule. There is no structural division between nave and sanctuary, which is divided from the nave by marble altar rails and raised on three steps. On the east wall is a tall Italianate marble reredos flanked by round-headed marble panels. On the north side of the sanctuary is a side chapel, with a flat ceiling. The building is clear-glazed throughout; the windows have small rectangular leaded lights in metal frames. The fittings generally are of good quality. The nave benches are Italianate and presumably original; the side chapel fittings appear to be older than the rest and were perhaps brought from the 1930s building. The sanctuary was reordered in 1983 and the altar, tabernacle and reading desk are all of white marble with figurative carving and probably date from that time.

Heritage Details

Architect: W. C. Mangan

Original Date: 1956

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not Listed