Reasons for Designation
804/0/10096 THURLSTONE ROAD
23-MAR-11 CHURCH OF ST PAUL
and attached vicarage
Church and attached vicarage. Built in two phases 1936-7 and 1952 by N T Cachemaille-Day. Some later internal alterations 1976.
MATERIALS: Purplish, Dutch brick in Flemish bond to the exterior with paler Leicestershire brick in Flemish bond to interior. Clay tile and felt roofs.
PLAN: Narrow basilica with a gabled west end and semi-circular apse. Nave flanked by lower flat-roofed aisles with parapets. On the north the aisle is adjoined by the vicarage, set at right-angles to the west front, and extends to a shallow transept containing the choir. On the south, the later 1952 south aisle is adjoined by a single-storey flat-roofed porch/vestry, in plan forming the south transept. Attached vicarage adjoins the north side of the west front at a right-angle.
EXTERIOR: The gabled west front is flanked by broad brick piers with a massive doorway with a flat hood supported on angled brick piers. Above the door is an ocular window with a triple rubbed-brick moulding and a corbelled brick pinnacle in the form of a Latin cross. The nave is of five bays with a dentilated cornice and a square, nine-light, metal clerestory window with shallow inset brick surrounds in each bay (except the first two bays of the north side where the vicarage adjoins), separated by brick pilasters. The steeply-pitched nave roof is covered with clay tiles. The apse has five narrow three-light rectangular metal windows set high up. The south aisle is of four bays separated by broad piers, with the lower south porch/vestry occupying the eastern bay and overlapping round its east end. The two central bays have large rectangular stained glass windows with the same inset brick surrounds as the clerestory windows. The western bay has a deeply recessed door with a concrete lintel extending over an adjoining metal window. The west elevation of the south aisle has a further door with a concrete lintel whilst the door to the south porch has a flat concrete hood supported on the same angled brick piers as the main door. On the north side of the building the two western bays of the nave adjoin the vicarage, the central bay has the only visible external expression of the south aisle with three narrow rectangular windows forming a clerestory for the side chapel and a lower block with three matching windows, whilst the two eastern bays contain the choir transept.
INTERIOR: The interior of the tall nave is light and spacious. Plastered walls and a gently pitched, panelled wooden ceiling, with broad tapering ribs which appear to be of concrete but are in fact timber. At the centre of the radiating ribs to the apse is a large decorative boss in the form of a sunburst from which hangs the original sanctuary lamp designed by the architect. The nave is of five bays with square Leicestershire grey brick pillars angled to become V-section pilasters at clerestory level and extended as full height pilasters to the apse. Original wood block floor with concrete aisles. The chancel has three concrete steps and flooring with two further broad curved steps up to the Sanctuary. The choir in the north transept is defined by low brick walls although these have been moved back from their original position. Similar walls also originally screened the Sanctuary; these have been removed, (replaced with wooden altar rails in 1976) along with the brick pulpit and lectern that adjoined the pillars either side of the chancel steps and font at the west door. Original timber-framed altar. In the central bay of the apse is a statue of Christ Risen by Christopher Webb (1886-1966), who also did the heraldic stained glass to the apse windows. The west door has a concrete surround with a cross quadrate in relief above. The oculus above has stained glass of the Ascension. The pilasters to the west wall retain the original copper triple-pendant light fittings, which have been removed elsewhere.
The north chapel has furnishings from St Jude's, Grays Inn Road, demolished in 1934, including the gilded wrought iron grille and an art nouveau stained glass window of St Agatha dated 1911. The later south chapel is open to the nave with a brick reredos reflecting the design of the angled pillars. The two stained glass windows, in a mid-Victorian style, are from the late 1940s - early 1950s.
VICARAGE: The adjoining vicarage is of less interest architecturally; it is of two storeys with a step-pitched tile mansard roof. The main west elevation has eight bays on the upper-storey, each with a rectangular metal window below a continuous concrete lintel, and seven bays on the lower-storey with two doors. Internally the vicarage is accessed from the church via the vestry in the north-west corner.
HISTORY: The parish of St Paul, Ruislip Manor was formed in 1936 from part of the original Ruislip parish which dated back to the C11. The new parish church of St Paul's was built between 1936-7 and designed by N F Cachmaille-Day. The design for the first part of the church was published in the 18 December 1936 edition of The Architect and Building News and allowed for the future addition of a south aisle and vestry, which were subsequently added in 1952, and a narthex at the west front which was never built. The original phase of construction included the vicarage attached to the south-west. The funds for building the church came from the sale of land at the site of the recently demolished St Paul's, Bunhill Row, hence the dedication. The foundation stone was laid by the Dean of Windsor on 18 July 1936 and the church was consecrated by the Bishop of London, A F Winnington Ingram, on 28 November the same year. The total cost including the vicarage was £10,950.
Nugent Francis Cachemaille-Day FRIBA (1896-1976) is best known for his churches. He had a prolific career straddling the Second World War. He initially worked with Louis de Soissons on the development of Welwyn Garden City before becoming chief assistant to Henry Stuart Goodhart-Rendel (later President of the RIBA), then setting up a practice with Felix J Lander (1898-1960) and subsequently Herbert A Welch (1884-1953) in 1930. After he set up his own practice in 1935, he concentrated on church design, completing around 50. His churches are noted for their 'thin' construction, concentrating on light and shade, and from the late-1930s he began to experiment with exposed concrete construction. Notable works include the churches of St Nicholas, Burnage, Manchester (Grade II*); St Barnabas, Gloucester (Grade II*); and the Church of the Epiphany, Leeds (Grade I).
The Church of St Paul, Ruislip, The Architect and Building News (December 18, 1936) 335-337 & Architect Portfolio no. 363;
Cherry, Bridget and Pevsner, Nicolaus, Buildings of England - London Vol. 3: North-west (1991), 347;
Bullen, Michael, and Cachemaille-Day, N F, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, http://www.oxforddnb.com (Date accessed: 24 August 2010);
http://www.churchplansonline.org - entry for St Paul's, Ruislip (Date accessed: 24 August 2010).
Victoria County History - 'Ruislip: Churches', A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 4 (1971), 142-144. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk Date accessed: 24 August 2010.
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: St Paul's Church and vicarage, Ruislip, designed by NF Cachemaille-Day and built in two phases in 1936 and 1952 is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural Interest: as a largely unaltered example of the early work of a leading church architect of the inter-war and immediate post-war years, showing features typical of his developing style and with an austere but well-proportioned interior;
* Detailing: the church is carefully detailed with a striking oversize west door, impressive wooden ribbed roof and architect-designed fittings;
* Historic interest: incorporation of fabric from the mid-C19 Church of St Jude, Grays Inn Road, demolished in 1934.