The Guardian Angels Roman Catholic Church, Tower Hamlets
Description: The Guardian Angels Roman Catholic Church
Date Listed: 8 August 2002
English Heritage Building ID: 489665
OS Grid Reference: TQ3633182484
OS Grid Coordinates: 536331, 182484
Latitude/Longitude: 51.5248, -0.0362
Location: 401 Mile End Road, Poplar, Greater London E1 4PD
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788/0/10149 MILE END ROAD
The Guardian Angels Roman Catholic Chu
Guardian Angels Roman Catholic Church, Mile End Road. Roman Catholic church, 1901-3 by F.A. Walters. Perpendicular style. Red brick with Ancaster stone dressings, copper-sheathed fleche, slate roof not visible.
PLAN: aligned north-south, with liturgical east end to north. Entrance to right, beneath tower; presbytery (listed separately) to east. 3-bay nave: gallery at (liturgical) west end, Lady Chapel at (lit.) north-east; two-bay chancel.
EXTERIOR: Main (lit.) west end to street with large seven-light traceried window, set beneath a shouldered gable end. Four openings to crypt beneath. Blocked arched door way with crenellated parapet to left, main doorway to right, with moulded brick arch and Arts and Crafts-influenced bronze grille over, embellished with IHS monogram. Smaller arched doorway with grille to right. Triple arched niches with cusped heads over main entrance, the central one with stone canopy flanked with narrow lancet windows; crenellated hood mould of stone over. Single lancet opening with hood-mould above. Upper part of tower is octagonal, with crenellated parapet, slatted two-light belfry openings to main sides, blind brick arches to angles. Short fleche with pinnacle over.
INTERIOR: three-bay nave with gallery at west end. Moulded piers with broad moulded arches, clerestorey with pairs of plain leaded lights over. Open scissor-trussed roof, the trusses carried on brackets carved with angels holding shields embellished with sacred monograms. Chancel arch flanked on either side by stone niches with statues: to (lit.) north, St Thomas a Becket, to (lit.) south, St Dunstan. Stone pulpit to (lit.) north of arch in the Perp. Style, with relief of eagle to front set within blind tracery. Entrance to crypt to (lit.) south of chancel arch. Chancel with moulded piers; spandrels of arcade with stone reliefs of angels, holding shields decorated with instruments of the passion, coffered ceiling. Lady Chapel to (lit.) north, with organ over. Large crypt below comprising two main chambers.
FIXTURES: items of note include a rood sreen, inscribed REGNAVIT A LIGNA DEUS ('God ruled from the wood'). Panelled openwork altar by Earp and Hobbs. Tabernacle with enamelled gilt door. East window by N.H.J. Westlake, showing Christ in majesty flanked by the Virgin Mary and St Joseph, with SS Margaret of Scotland and Clare in the outer lights. Wrought iron gates to Lady Chapel and to crypt entrance by Bainbridge Reynolds. Total immersion font of stone, or recent date, in centre of nave, designed by Matteo del Preti.
HISTORY: this is the successor church to a mission chapel opened in 1868 by Archbishop (later Cardinal) Manning, which offered the first Catholic place or worship in this area. The present church was paid for by Lady Mary Howard in memory of her sister Lady Margaret; the foundation stone was laid in October 1901 and opened for worship on 25 March 1903. Its architect, F.A. Walters, was a late follower of the tenets of Pugin and one of the leading Roman Catholic architects of his generation; he is best known for his work at Buckfast Abbey, Devon. A carefully designed former mission church, forming a notable group with the neighbouring presbytery (q.v.).
SOURCES: Denis Evinson, 'The Catholic Churches of London' (1998), 232-234; The Builder, 4 April 1903, 368.
This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.