Building » Wadhurst – The Sacred Heart

Wadhurst – The Sacred Heart

The Priest’s Cottage, Mayfield Lane, East Sussex TN5 6DQ

A modest brick interwar church in Lombard Romanesque style, built by the Rosminians. 

The church was built by the Institute of Charity (Rosminians). A foundation stone is dated 27 June 1928 and the church was opened on 11 March 1929. The Tablet reported on 23 March 1929:

‘The Fathers of Charity at Wadhurst have added a good-looking and serviceable church to the Catholic resources of that town; and his lordship the Bishop of Southwark had the happiness last week of opening the new building. Erected from designs by Mr. E. Bower Norris, F.R.I.B.A., the church is in Lombard Romanesque style, constructed of tinted Sussex brick. A stout campanile, surmounted by an open loggia, contains the Angelus bell, and above the western entrance is a handsome panel of Our Lady and the Holy Child. Inside, the building is tastefully appointed. The nave, partitioned off near the western end by a screen which can be closed when necessary and still allow access to the church for prayer, has walls panelled in oak. By the zeal of the rector, Father Emery, Inst. Ch., and the generosity of the congregation, subscriptions towards the cost and furnishing of the building have totalled £1,030, leaving a debt of about £1,500’.

The church was illustrated in the journal Brick Builder and described as ‘a homely little structure in excellent taste’.


The church is a low-slung gabled rectangle, the nave windows rising into gabled dormers, and with a short tower on the south side close to the west end, with an overhanging pyramid roof and paired bell openings divided by short columns with cushion capitals. All is in brick apart from the bell-opening columns and the round-arched west entrance with a much weathered tympanum carved in low relief.

The interior is dominated by the heavy roof trusses and domestic style panelling around the walls. The sanctuary has no more than a shallow round-arched recess, the tympanum with a painted relief of kneeling angels either side of the risen Christ in a mandorla. Baptistery beneath the tower with a painted and gilded octagonal font.

Amended by AHP 14.02.2021

Heritage Details

Architect: E. Bower Norris

Original Date: 1929

Conservation Area: Yes

Listed Grade: Not Listed