CHURCH OF ST PATRICK
- Heritage Category:
- Listed Building
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
- Statutory Address:
- CHURCH OF ST PATRICK, AND RAILINGS AND GATEPIERS, BLAKE AVENUE
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- Statutory Address:
- CHURCH OF ST PATRICK, AND RAILINGS AND GATEPIERS, BLAKE AVENUE
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Greater London Authority
- Barking and Dagenham (London Borough)
- National Grid Reference:
- TQ 45422 83725
Reasons for Designation
St Patrick's Church, Barking, begun in the late 1930s and consecrated in July 1940, is a streamlined Moderne church built to the designs of the architect AE Wiseman. It is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons: * an unusual design in the Moderne style with a strong architectural form and subtle external decoration; * a simple yet striking interior embellished with a bold and unusual fan-shaped reredos.
971/0/10018 BLAKE AVENUE 10-MAR-09 CHURCH OF ST PATRICK and railings and gatepiers
II Church, consecrated in July 1940 to the designs of the architect AE Wiseman. Alterations in the mid 1970s and early C21 redecoration, conservation and some modernisation.
MATERIALS: Reinforced concrete frame; buff Dutch Bricks in Flemish bond; asphalt roof.
PLAN: Aisled nave; hall to west end; chancel; east tower; north vestry and offices, apsidal lady chapel to south; west vestry, north-west boiler house and store.
EXTERIOR: Principal elevations are to the east and south, facing Blake Avenue. East elevation: Round east tower flanked by curving transeptal projections (Lady Chapel and vestries to south and north respectively). Tower has louvered slit openings to belfry enhanced by projecting continuous concrete lintel and cill. Projecting brick panel with subtle stepped edges to east elevation decorated with glazed turquoise tile cross. Recessed string courses. Foundation stone at base of tower, with concrete lintel and cill, reads: 'To the Glory of God/ This stone was laid by/ Mrs. Lavinia C. Keene/ The generous donor of this church/ July 13th 1940'. S elevation: Stepped back chancel wall punctuated with tall, narrow windows with concrete lintels. Curving transeptal Lady Chapel and chancel vestry complimenting the form of the tower. Nave of greater height than chancel. Continuous concrete lintel to six elongated windows, blocked at clerestory level in the 1970s but glazed below. Single storey flat-roofed south aisle with four windows, again with a continuous lintel. Two porches to south-west and south with part brick walls and metal poles supporting projecting flat concrete weather hoods. N elevation: very similar to south but with addition of north-west boiler room. W elevation: relatively plain with small vestry projecting from the building line.
INTERIOR: Church hall: Originally the west end of the nave but now divided off with a folding partition with central double doors all sympathetically designed so as to compliment the design. This partition hangs from a steel cross girder. New floor following subsidence with former extent of pews marked out. Inserted ceiling above of 1970s date. Modern kitchen and toilets. Tapering concrete piers. Modern additions are not of special interest. Nave: Tapering concrete piers with rounded corners dividing nave and aisles. Stepped concrete rood beam supporting bakelite cross. Chequerboard granwood floor (also in chancel and the Lady Chapel sanctuary). Internal walls newly rendered (originally exposed brick). Chancel: Concrete pilasters. Brick chancel apse with tripartite reredos: painted sky applied to silver metal leaf in fan-shape, with plain plaster rib border and decorative central ribbing decorated with painted lozenges. All rises from a stepped altar back in veneered walnut boards with an ebonised timber surround applied to a pine frame. Concealed uplighters light the reredos. Stone from the Cathedral of St Patrick, Armagh, Ireland is incorporated in the sanctuary wall to the north. Niche to the south. Lady Chapel: Also has newly rendered walls. Apsidal sanctuary. All windows replaced in polycarbonate. Elsewhere are solid wooden double doors, some with diagonal cross bracing, others with walnut veneer in a diamond pattern. Rounded wooden skirting boards. Glass is plain throughout: originally amber coloured glass which had been replaced with polycarbonate leaded lights, now replaced with clear glass casements.
FIXTURES AND FITTINGS: Altar of plywood with an oak top. Chancel altar rails are metal, painted red and black with a wooden altar rail. Hexagonal pulpit with incised decoration and matching font base in Ham Hill stone; font bowl of bronze supported on Ham Hill stone drum. Simple wooden altar rails and wooden cross with moulded arms and trefoil terminals in Lady Chapel brought from Church of the Ascension, Eastbury.
ANCILLARY FEATURES: The church is surrounded by railings on its east and south sides. These are plain metal railings in the main but there are three sets of attractive metal gates, two to the south and one to the north-east, which are hung from brick gate piers. The gates are painted in red white and blue and incorporate a cross central to the design. The piers and gates are contemporary with the church and are part of the original composition and so are included in the listing.
HISTORY: The construction of St Patrick's Barking was prompted by the need to service the rapidly growing population of this part of East London after the First World War. The parish of St Margaret, Barking was therefore divided into several new parishes to serve the growing population. Negotiations between the Vicar of Barking and Barking Council to find a site for a new church began in December 1937 with the Blake Avenue site finally agreed upon. The church was funded by an endowment from the parish of Barking, accepted by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in March 1938, and a very generous gift of the monies for the building by Mrs Lavinia Keene, a local benefactress. The establishment of a new parish of St Patrick's was formally announced and the parish council elected in late 1938. The nominated vicar was Rev. GW Bowker, formerly of the Church of the Ascension, Eastbury (now demolished). The church was built to the designs of Mr AE Wiseman of Chelmsford, perhaps better known as a cinema rather than a church architect, and the cost, including the furnishings, was £10,500. The church was consecrated by the Bishop of Chelmsford in July 1940 with a stone-laying ceremony performed by Mr JBH Low in the absence, due to illness, of the church's benefactress. Minor damage was caused to plaster work during World War Two but it was otherwise unscathed despite its East London location. The church experienced some alterations in 1976-7 when the nave was divided to create a church hall at the west end. A false ceiling was also inserted at the west end at the same time as part of this scheme. The pews were also removed from the nave and the clerestory windows blocked due to their constant vandalism. A further refurbishment and conservation scheme is currently (2008) nearing completion.
SOURCES: B Cherry, C O'Brien N & Pevsner, The Buildings of England: London 5: East, (2005) p124 St Patrick's Church Guide
REASON FOR DESIGNATION: St Patrick's Church, Barking, begun in the late 1930s and consecrated in July 1940, is a streamlined Moderne church built to the designs of the architect AE Wiseman. It is designated for the following principal reasons: * an unusual design in the Moderne style with a strong architectural form and subtle external decoration; * a simple yet striking interior embellished with a bold and unusual fan-shaped reredos.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
- Legacy System number:
- Legacy System:
Books and journals
Pevsner, N, Cherry, B, O'Brien, C, The Buildings of England: London 5 East, (2005), 124
This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.
End of official listing