Building » Willenhall – St Mary

Willenhall – St Mary

Leveson Street, Willenhall, Walsall WV13

A small Edwardian red brick Early English Gothic design, and a modest example of the work of a well-known firm of Catholic architects of the early twentieth century. The church replaced one by E. W. Pugin. 

Until 1860 Catholics from Willenhall travelled to Bilston to attend Mass. In that year a chapel of ease was established in Hall Street, designed by E.W. Pugin; it was completely furnished by 1864 but nothing appears to be known of its appearance other than that it is said to have ‘had side aisles and six pillars’.

In the 1890s the site of the present church was acquired for the building of a school, which opened in 1898 and to which a presbytery was added. Development of the site was completed by the building of the church, which opened in 1906. The cost was about £1,000. It was designed by Canon Alexander Scholes and his nephew and partner Geoffrey Raymond (not ‘Rayment’, as given in the contemporary account in the Diocesan Directory), who provided designs for many Catholic churches around this time. The carved timber altar was the gift of R. Twiney of Reading.

An organ gallery was added at the west end in 1925. In 1964 four stained glass windows by the Hardman firm were installed in the sanctuary, commemorating the centenary of the mission. The design of the reredos may have been simplified at the same time.


The church is quite small and consists of a nave and sanctuary. It is built of red brick in a mainly Early English style with simple lancet windows, mostly in pairs. The west window is of three lights, the central one of which has a reticulation in the tracery. The interior is plastered and painted a light cream colour. Before the sanctuary is a plain, pointed arch. Over the nave there is a five-sided ceiling with longitudinal boarding. The gallery and organ were added in 1925. The sanctuary retains its original (modified) reredos. The stained glass is by Hardmans of Birmingham and depicts Our Lady of Lourdes and various saints; the windows in the sanctuary were installed to commemorate the centenary of the mission in 1960 and the others are somewhat later.

Heritage Details

Architect: Scoles & Raymond

Original Date: 1906

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not Listed