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The Presbytery to the Roman Catholic Church of St Lawrence

List Entry Summary

This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

Name: The Presbytery to the Roman Catholic Church of St Lawrence

List entry Number: 1129246


St Lawrence Presbytery, 71 Broad Street, Chipping Sodbury, Bristol, BS37 6AD

The listed building(s) is/are shown coloured blue on the attached map. Pursuant to s.1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (‘the Act’), structures attached to or within the curtilage of the listed building (save those coloured blue on the map) are not to be treated as part of the listed building for the purposes of the Act.

The building may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.


District: South Gloucestershire

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Sodbury

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: II

Date first listed: 17-Sep-1952

Date of most recent amendment: 21-Sep-2017

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: LBS

UID: 34070

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Building

A former inn dating from the C17, altered and extended in the C18, and converted in the early C19 when it became the Roman Catholic presbytery of the Church of St Lawrence.

Reasons for Designation

The Presbytery to the Roman Catholic Church of St Lawrence, Broad Street, Chipping Sodbury is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons: * Architectural interest: as an interesting example of a coaching inn, with a prominent street front, dating back to the C17, extended and altered in the C18 and converted in the early C19 when it became the presbytery; * Interior: the interior retains a number of important fixtures and fittings, including a large C17 timber winder stair, a rare survival; * Historic interest: as an interesting reminder of the development of coach travel in the C17 and C18, and for its interest as a Roman Catholic presbytery serving the Church of St Lawrence since its foundation in the early C19 as one of the first mission churches in the Diocese of Clifton; * Group value: it has strong group value with neighbouring listed buildings and the Roman Catholic Church of St Lawrence, which it has served since the early C19.


The Presbytery to the Roman Catholic Church of St Lawrence, a former coaching inn known as the Swan Inn, of circa C17 date, was altered and extended in the C18 and further altered in the C19. Harding (1999) suggests that the building was originally constructed as an Elizabethan town house, although no firm evidence is presented. In the early C19 the former inn and its associated outbuildings were bought by Sarah Neve, the Roman Catholic wife of the Vicar of Old Sodbury, to establish an early mission church dedicated to St Lawrence, endowed to the Diocese of Clifton and served by Benedictine monks from Ampleforth and Downside and later Douai. The former stables and brew house were converted to become the church (under consideration for listing separately), whilst the Inn itself, facing Broad Street, became the presbytery. Since 1928 secular clergy have been appointed at St Lawrence.


A former inn dating from the C17, altered and extended in the C18, and converted in the early C19 when it became the Roman Catholic presbytery of the Church of St Lawrence.

MATERIALS: the building is rendered and painted. It has a tiled pitched roof with stacks to the E and W gable ends, set behind gabled front and rear elevations.

PLAN: The building has an L-shaped plan with a carriage arch to its W (originally probably part of the adjacent Squire Public House, listed Grade II), a later kitchen extension (probably a former outbuilding), and an C18 infill extension in its rear NW corner. Attached to the rear is a late C20 conservatory, which is excluded from the listing.

EXTERIOR: the two storey S front plus attic facing Broad Street has three steep gables with ball finials. It has a central entrance with an elaborate panelled door of which the centre panel has a diamond shape with a fanlight above, set in a stone arched door surround. The early C19 windows, two on the ground floor flanking the entrance and three to each of the two floors above (those to the upper floor smaller in size), have diamond shaped lattice bars. To the left is the lower carriage arch (originally part of the Squire Public House, listed Grade II), with a sash window with diamond shape lattice bars as before. The windows date from the early C19 when the building became the presbytery.

The rear elevation consists of a two bay wide, three storey gabled rear wing to the left. Attached to this is the lower kitchen wing (a former outbuilding), which has a late C20 conservatory attached to it. To the right is the two storey C18 infill extension, which partially blocks the gabled bay behind it. To the far right is the carriage arch, the roof of which was extended forward to enlarge the room above the arch, and it has a brick external wall. The rear elevation has multi-pane sash windows throughout of varied proportions. The attic on the far left is lit by a three light casement. An earlier, stone mullioned window is set in the small gable behind the slightly lower C18 gabled infill extension.

INTERIOR: At ground floor level is a central hall flanked by the presbytery office and parlour, leading to the rear with cloakroom (in the C18 extension) and a large built-in C17 spiral staircase on the opposite side. Behind the built-in staircase is a utility room and kitchen. The spiral staircase leads to the two floors above which have bedrooms coming off a central hall, that on the first floor with a corridor leading to the room above the carriage arch.

The interior has been refurbished extensively in the C20. The interiors of the rooms in the C18 infill extension to the rear have all been stripped*. However, the remainder of the building does retain a number of historic fixtures and fittings of note, including panelled doors and deep skirtings throughout. The window in the presbytery office on the ground floor contains a deep, decoratively carved timber window sill, probably dating from the C17, and believed to be a re-used travel - or dowry chest. The parlour and hallway contain horizontal timber wall panelling to wainscot level dating mostly from the C19 but re-using older, probably C17 panelling in parts. Both the office and parlour have C19 fireplaces.

A large winder stair dating from the C17, is accessed from the hallway via a wide opening, which has a finely carved timber double ovolo-moulded four-centred arched surround, suggesting the stair may have earlier origins. The stair is constructed around a very thick and tall post made from one single piece of timber. The threads, becoming narrower towards the top, are carpeted at the bottom, and made of timber at top floor level.

The roof comprises a standard rafter roof with purlins, probably originating from the C17 but with extensive later repairs, and C19 inserted gables.

* Pursuant to s.1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (‘the Act’) it is declared that the late C20 internal fixtures and fittings in the rooms of the C18 infill extension to the rear are not of special architectural or historic interest.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Harding, J A, The Diocese of Clifton, 1850-2000, (1999), 110-111
Kelly, B W, Historical notes on English Catholic Missions, (1907), 130
Verey, D, Brooks, A, The Buildings of England: Gloucestershire 2 The Vale and the Forest of Dean, (2002), 297
Churches in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Clifton: An Architectural and Historical Review, prepared for the Diocese of Clifton and Historic England by the Architectural History Practice Ltd, Jan 2016

National Grid Reference: ST7287182245


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End of official listing