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Church of St Augustine, Apostle of England, Nottingham

Description: Church of St Augustine, Apostle of England

Grade: II
Date Listed: 15 October 2012
Building ID: 1406263

OS Grid Reference: SK5756141141
OS Grid Coordinates: 457561, 341140
Latitude/Longitude: 52.9645, -1.1444

Locality: Nottingham
County: Nottingham
Postcode: NG3 4HZ

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Listing Text


An inter-war Roman Catholic church, constructed between 1920-23 by John Sidney Brocklesby.

Reason for Listing

Saint Augustine, Apostle of England Roman Catholic Church, Woodborough Road, Nottingham is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons.
* Architectural interest: it displays an accomplished architectural design that combines modern and traditional materials and construction techniques to interpret traditional forms in a sophisticated and highly individual manner;
* Architect: it was designed by John Sidney Brocklesby, a noted exponent of the Arts and Crafts Movement, and celebrated for his work at Merton Park, London for the John Innes estate and three other listed Romanesque churches built in the 1920s;
* Interior: the church has a spacious and light interior which uses a historical architectural form to achieve a plan-form and layout that is modern and contemporary;
* Fixtures and fittings: interior fixtures and fittings are of significant quality, notably the organ of 1740, stained glass and rood screen.


St Augustine, Apostle of England Catholic Church on the northern edge of Nottingham is the work of John Sidney Brocklesby (1879-1955) and dates from 1920-23. It replaced a tin tabernacle of 1879. Brocklesby began his career as architect to the John Innes estate at Merton Park, London, where some of his Arts and Crafts houses form the centre piece of the conservation area. As well as St Augustine of England, Brocklesby also designed three other Roman Catholic churches in 'Basilican' style during the 1920s. They are St Joseph’s, Burslem, Sacred Heart, Tunstall and St Oswald’s, Ashton-in-Markerfield; all are listed at Grade II.

St Augustine’s is described by Pevsner as looking incomplete and it is thought that the intention was that the church should have two towers and a great retaining arch, the basis of which is clearly visible on the principle elevation. A drawing which once hung in the church also shows the intended vision for the design.

The plans for the church were approved by Nottingham City Council in September 1920 with much of the work completed by 1922. By 1923 Brocklesby had been dismissed because of disagreements over cost, and the interior design was taken over by Maurice Parmentier who was the rector between 1927 and 1962.

In 1970 the sanctuary was reordered by local architect Thomas Snee. This included bringing the altar forward, recasting the original pulpit and the creation of a simple pulpit house to the side of the high altar. A modern church hall was also built around the same time next door, and a rectory which adjoins the church at the south-east corner, was also added.


MATERIALS: the main materials are coursed Darley Dale stone, with Snowcrete and Blucrete for the domes.

EXTERIOR: the principle elevation of the church is of three-bays with a cylindrical tower to the north-west corner. There is an arched entrance with a large round headed window above, in the central bay, with full height pilasters to each side. The west elevation comprises a lower section of three-bays, which has a series of small arched windows and a flat buttresses. Above this is a clerestory which is inset and stabilised with angle buttresses. The south elevation (Liturgical east end) comprises a single-storey section with a dome made of Snowcrete. There is also an apse to the south-east corner which joins up to the modern rectory. The east elevation is made up of a series of single and double-height ranges that are massed together to form a stepped façade. There are arched and square-headed windows and a side entrance, and angle buttresses at clerestory level. Exterior decoration and detailing is minimal and includes a dentil course.

The vicarage of two-storeys, dated c.1970, attached to the south-east corner of the church, does not have special interest.

INTERIOR: the interior of the church is in the Romanesque style and is lined in dressed ashlar stonework. It features two large bays with saucer domes, and a five-bay arcade which divides the chancel from the nave. There are low arcades with round arch windows over each arch, and piers –square at the west end and clustered at the east end. At the west end is the Lady Chapel with stained glass from 1922 by John Hardman Studios. There is also a glazed hardwood screen, and a stair tower in the north-west corner leading up to a gallery that contains an organ. At the east end there is an arcaded apse with three stained-glass windows and small arch windows above. There is a simple rectangular altar with a marble relief carving of the last supper on the front, and there is a large painted crucifix suspended above. To the side of the altar is a stone lectern with chamfered sides and carved detail. There are simple, open-backed, bench pews on each side of the nave.

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.