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Roman Catholic Church of St Winefride, Shrewsbury

Description: Roman Catholic Church of St Winefride

Grade: II
Date Listed: 21 February 2014
Building ID: 1416160

OS Grid Reference: SJ5116912815
OS Grid Coordinates: 351169, 312816
Latitude/Longitude: 52.7108, -2.7242

Locality: Shrewsbury
County: Shropshire
Postcode: SY2 5JZ

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Listing Text


Roman Catholic church. 1956 to designs by Francis Xavier Velarde. Brown brick with cast stone decoration and concrete tile roofs.he former presbytery, now a private house, attached to the south side of the vestry does not form part of the list entry.

Reason for Listing

The Roman Catholic Church of St Winefride, Monkmoor, of 1956 by Francis Xavier Velarde is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architect: the church was designed by the notable Catholic architect, Francis Xavier Velarde, much admired for its ecclesiastical designs, especially for Catholic churches
* Architectural Interest: despite its modest size St Winefride's displays Velarde’s highly distinctive style which drew on Romanesque architecture and the work of modern German designers, imbuing his churches with a clear spirituality,
* Intactness: St Windifride’s has undergone very little alteration retaining the glazing and internal finishes, including the original linoleum and terrazzo flooring, which Velarde designed
* Artistic Interest: the focus of the interior is a fine gold-painted crucifix designed by Velarde, which is hung high on the sanctuary wall lit by side windows concealed from the congregation by the chancel arch


St Winefride's is a small Roman Catholic church built in 1956 to serve a new parish in Monkmoor, a suburb of Shrewsbury. It had a congregation of around 400 drawn from the post-war housing estate in which it is located. The church was built to designs by Francis Xavier Velarde (c1898-1960), a pupil of Professor Charles Reilly and a major Liverpool-based Catholic architect of the inter-war and post-war periods.


Roman Catholic church. 1956 to designs by Francis Xavier Velarde. Brown brick with cast stone decoration and concrete tile roofs.

PLAN: whilst orientated with the sanctuary to the west, liturgical compass points are used for the description of the church. Aisleless nave and apsidal sanctuary under a single roof, with a lower narthex with south doorway, and a linked south-east square campanile with former baptistery in base and entrance doorway in west elevation of the link block. North-east sacristy and confessional linking church to presbytery.

EXTERIOR: the church is built of brown brick in stretcher bond and English garden wall bond (5:1) without a plinth or cornice. The south elevation, facing the road, is of five bays defined by large buttresses, with a lower, set-back narthex at the west end, the linked campanile and semi-circular sanctuary apse at the east end. The nave bays have small, paired round-headed windows with cast-stone mullions with relief images alternately of an angel and a dove. Above each paired window is a single small, round-headed window forming a clerestorey level. The windows have metal frames with a geometric pattern of textured clear glass and semi-circles of blue glass. At the left-hand end is a recessed, pitched roof narthex with an entrance doorway in the south elevation with a flight of three shallow steps. The wide doorway has double doors with applied timber beading forming a checked pattern and circular brass door handles. Over the doorway is a slightly recessed cusped-head stone tympanum inscribed with a fleur de lys motif. The west elevation of the narthex has two pairs of similar round-headed windows with cast-concrete mullions and metal frames. At the east end of the nave a parapetted block projects, linking the campanile to the church. The west elevation of the link block has a wide, round-headed doorway with similar double doors to the narthex, and three shallow steps, now partially obscured by an access ramp. The square campanile rises to a stone-faced bellcote with a large, round-headed opening in each face, and a pyramidal copper roof surmounted by a bronze cross. Near the base on the east and west sides is a circular window with a metal frame and similar glazing of textured clear glass and blue glass lighting the former baptistery. The sanctuary to the east of the link block has a large rectangular window with a cast-stone window frame three panes wide by four panes deep, with alternating rectangular and round-headed panes with textured clear glass. The semi-circular east apse is blind. The north elevation has similar detailing and fenestration as the south elevation. In a corresponding position to the campanile link block is the sacristy which links to the former presbytery (now a private residence).

INTERIOR: the walls are of unadorned brown brick. The nave bays are defined by full-width, round arches springing low to the ground straight from the nave walls. The arches between the nave and sanctuary and the nave and narthex are smaller and lower. The flat centre and angled sides of the nave roof retain the original geometric decoration of blue and gold diamonds. The flat narthex roof has a pattern of blue squares with blue diamonds and gilt crosses, and the curved sanctuary roof has a striking blue, orange, and red geometric design. The narthex, nave, sacristy, and link block have square linoleum tiles, with coloured geometric designs to the nave aisle, with carpet covering some of the linoleum. The sanctuary has terrazzo flooring. In the sanctuary is a white stone altar with an incised gold design of XP (Chi-Rho, the first two Greek letters for Christ) and crosses, possibly to a design by Velarde; there are comparable altars in other of his churches. There is a gold-painted Velarde crucifix on the wall. A small, circular stone font with a conical timber lid stands at the east end of the nave having been moved from the original baptistery in the base of the campanile. In the eastern bay of the nave are paired, round-headed doorways into a confessional and the sacristy on the north side and a similar doorway into the link block lobby and baptistery on the south side. The internal doors are timber with timber beading forming a checked pattern. The nave and narthex windows have cast angel and dove mullions similar to those to the exterior. The Stations of the Cross are rectangular relief panels glazed grey-green with gold haloes; they are attached to the nave walls beneath small gilt crosses.

EXCLUSION: the former presbytery, now a private house, attached to the south side of the vestry does not form part of the List Entry.

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