Firgrove Road, Yateley, Hants
A functional building with a large internal space, built in the grounds of Yateley Hall. Part of a large complex of church, parish hall and presbytery built in 1969.
St Swithun’s church is located in the grounds of Yateley Hall, a medieval house which was Georgianised and subsequently remodelled by Norman Shaw. Shortly after the war it was acquired by the Farnborough Hill convent and converted into a school. A chaplain was appointed in 1946 and the convent chapel served as a Mass centre.
In 1964 part of the Yateley Hall estate was conveyed to the Diocese as a site for a new church and presbytery. The foundation stone of the present church was laid on 1 December 1968 and the building was opened on 15 July 1969 by Bishop Worlock. The builder was T.M. Lucas and the notional cost was £35,000 (although the builder built at cost).
From 1979-81 the church was shared with the congregation from the Anglican church of St Peter, after their building was burnt down. The sisters left Yateley Hall in 1981, but the school continued to be run by parents until it finally closed in 1985. In 2000 the parish hall was built.
The church is octagonal in plan and is linked to the parish hall (built in 2000) via a low flat-roofed link with a shop and vestibule. It is of cavity wall construction, faced in yellow brick laid in stretcher bond. The metal-clad roof is recent, the original roof having failed. On the east side, facing the drive to Yateley Hall, is a flat-roofed projection housing the sacristy (originally a chapel). The interior of the church is a large undivided space with a flat boarded timber ceiling, lit by continuous clerestory glazing around the sides, with two additional tall vertical panels on the north and south sides. The sanctuary is placed on the east side, and has a canted dais with the seating arranged to face towards this. The walls are faced in brick, with timber panels around the entrance and altar; the floor is tiled.
There are three cast iron statues in the grounds which came from the old LSU College (now New College) Southampton.
Architect: Barton Wilmore & Partners
Original Date: 1969
Conservation Area: No
Listed Grade: Not Listed