St Francis Church

2 Jul 2002
St Francis Church, Fleetwood Road, Willesden, Brent, Greater London
Photograph (Digital)
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This information is taken from the statutory List as it was in 2001 and may not be up to date.


935-/2/10010 St Francis Church

II Anglican Church. Brick with tile dressings; concrete; tile roofs. 1932-33 and dedicated to St. Francis on the seventh centenary of his death. To the designs of J. Harold Gibbons, Essay in a Romanesque manner with an emphasis on simple planar forms. Nave of four round-arched bays with shallow barrel vaulted roof, boarded, the boards of alternating widths and continuous on long axis; light blue colour original with mouldings in dark green. Concrete walls, painted in places. North and south aisles with lean-to roofs; pairs of transverse interior buttresses spanning aisles between second and third bays; lit by paired, flat-arched windows. West round above organ gallery. Round arch to chancel on crossing axis, the altar, on platform of polished granite steps, has been brought forward from parapet to Lady Chapel; chancel in position of crossing, shallow transept; chancel has single bay, groin vaulted, the vault painted blue with stars. Silver sanctuary lamp hanging from centre of vault. Lower segmental arch to east of altar area, marking off Lady Chapel; this chapel with flat painted roof, a round-arched east window of diminutive proportions to east wall; the painting of the crucifixion on over-arch area, immediately east of altar, is of the same period as church. Upper area of chancel lit by north and south windows creating very dramatic and mysterious light as viewed from west end. Floor of wood block. Organ loft stair in southwest corner associated with stone baptismal font, a signature feature of Gibbons. Sacristy to northeast corner connected to choir vestry at southeast corner by flat-ceiled passage running behind Lady Chapel. The exterior is notable for its extreme simplicity and the almost blunt way in which the masses mirror the interior spaces with hardly any concession to picturesque compositional values. Of special note are the tile patterns filling in the ends of the pantiles to eaves; various designs appear the work of workmen on site. Stone low relief panel over west entrance in an early Christian manner. Virtually all the original details survive intact. The chief beauty of the structure arises from the stately sequence of simplified forms and masses and on the inside, in particular, the repetition of round-arched forms. The directness is intended to refer to auster and mendicant life and work of St. Francis of Assisi.

Listing NGR: TQ2249385323


This is part of the Series: IOE01/0814 IOE Records taken by E C T S Glover; within the Collection: IOE01 Images Of England


© Mr E.C.T.S. Glover. Source: Historic England Archive

This photograph was taken for the Images of England project

People & Organisations

Photographer: Glover, E.C.T.S.

Rights Holder: Glover, E.C.T.S.


Brick, Concrete, Tile, 20th Century Anglican Church, Religious Ritual And Funerary, Church, Place Of Worship