Church of St Mary, Newington


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Location Description:
Statutory Address:
St Mary's Church, Kennington Park Road, London, SE11 4JQ


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Statutory Address:
St Mary's Church, Kennington Park Road, London, SE11 4JQ

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

Location Description:
Greater London Authority
Southwark (London Borough)
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:


Parish church of 1957-1958 by Sir Arthur Llewellyn Smith (1903-1978) in a stripped Neo-Classical style.

Reasons for Designation

The Church of St Mary, Newington, a parish church of 1957-1958, built to designs by Sir Arthur Llewellyn Smith, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* as a well-crafted church in good quality materials including a sculptural relief; * for its good interior spatial qualities; * for its complete interior including original joinery, stone font, marble floor, etched glass and stained glass.

Group value:

* with the remains of the 1876 tower and portal of the earlier Church of St Mary, listed at Grade II.


The original medieval Church of St Mary, Newington stood on the west side of Newington Butts but was pulled down in 1876 for road widening. It was replaced by an 1876 church on this site on the east side of Kennington Park Road to the designs of James Fowler of Louth in Early English style, but this church was destroyed in an air raid on 10 May 1941 and the only part remaining is its tower and portal.

The existing Church of St Mary was designed by the architect Arthur Llewellyn Smith and built in 1957-1958 immediately to the south-east of the remaining tower and portal of the 1876 church. It may have been partly funded by compensation from the War Damage Commission for bomb damage to the 1876 church.


Parish church of 1957-1958 by Sir Arthur Llewellyn Smith (1903-1978) in a stripped Neo-Classical style.

MATERIALS: yellow stock bricks in Flemish bond with Portland stone dressings, metal-framed windows, wood and glazed doors and copper roof.

PLAN: a four-bay nave with west organ gallery, south chapel and north congregation vestry, north and south transepts, and apsidal ended sanctuary with bellcote flanked by a clergy vestry with sacristy to the south and a choir vestry to the north.

EXTERIOR: the west end has a full-height portico with a Portland stone open pediment with a coffered underside, supported on square piers and pilasters. Below is a porch with slender Portland stone piers and wood and glazed doors with square glazing patterns. Above the porch is a high relief Portland stone carving of the Madonna and Child.

The north and south sides of the nave have triglyph designs in raised brick above the metal-framed windows. Below these are the projecting Lady Chapel and children's chapel which have four Portland stone piers and wooden entrances at the west end and four metal casement windows on the north and south sides.

The transepts are pedimented and have metal windows, except to the east side which have no windows. The sanctuary is five-sided with the same pattern of triglyphs above the metal framed windows, some of which contain stained glass. Below are single-storey vestries with metal-framed windows.

INTERIOR: the western glazed panelled door leads into an open ended vestibule beneath the organ gallery, which has organ pipes arranged symmetrically and is supported on square piers. The lower parts of the walls have exposed brickwork, the upper parts are rendered. The ceiling has rectangular coffers but there are patterns of squares and hexagons over the sanctuary. The north Lady Chapel has three part-glazed aluminium doors, the upper glazed parts etched with crown and lily designs in the diamond shaped panes. The opposite, south children's area has a solid wall. The nave retains the original wooden pews and both nave and transepts have woodblock floors.

The north transept has a stained glass window depicting figures from the Old Testament. The south transept stained glass window has figures and texts from the New Testament, signed H Powell. There is a hexagonal Portland stone font with a wooden cover. At the south-east edge of the Sanctuary is a hexagonal panelled wooden pulpit on a hexagonal Portland stone base approached up wooden steps with a metal handrail.

The sanctuary has a marble floor of two colours approached up a step and has wooden rails with turned balusters. Three further steps lead to the panelled wooden altar below a pedimented Portland stone baldacchino supported on piers. The three central windows have contemporary stained glass, the central one depicting the Crucifixion, the northern one scenes from Christ's life and the southern one possibly scenes of the Resurrection. Two wooden doors below incorporate stained glass panels, possibly symbolising the water of baptism and the fire of the Holy Spirit.


Books and journals
Bridget, Cherry, Nikolaus, Pevsner, The Buildings of England London 2: South, (1994), 576


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

The listed building is shown coloured blue on the attached map. Pursuant to s1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (‘the Act’) structures attached to or within the curtilage of the listed building but not coloured blue on the map, are not to be treated as part of the listed building for the purposes of the Act. However, any works to these structures which have the potential to affect the character of the listed building as a building of special architectural or historic interest may still require Listed Building Consent (LBC) and this is a matter for the Local Planning Authority (LPA) to determine.

End of official listing

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