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Church of St Anne, Fawley Court

A Grade II Listed Building in Fawley, Buckinghamshire

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Latitude: 51.5505 / 51°33'1"N

Longitude: -0.899 / 0°53'56"W

OS Eastings: 476435

OS Northings: 184089

OS Grid: SU764840

Mapcode National: GBR C4L.MKB

Mapcode Global: VHDWG.C9L6

Entry Name: Church of St Anne, Fawley Court

Listing Date: 28 September 2009

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1393459

English Heritage Legacy ID: 505582

Location: Fawley, Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, RG9

County: Buckinghamshire

District: Wycombe

Civil Parish: Fawley

Traditional County: Oxfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Buckinghamshire

Church of England Parish: Fawley

Church of England Diocese: Oxford

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Listing Text


1185/0/10008 MARLOW ROAD
28-SEP-09 Church of St Anne, Fawley Court

St Anne's Polish Roman Catholic Church, 1971-73. Built to the designs of the architect Wladislaw Tadeusz Jeorge Jarosz under the patronage of Prince Stanislaw Albrecht Radziwill as a memorial to his mother Anne, Princess Lubomirska (1881-1947), also as a college chapel and as a church for the Congregation of Marian Fathers.

MATERIALS: Red brick in both English bond and Stretcher bond for structural and freestanding walls; laminated timber for the structural frame with tongue and groove boarding; steel plates and joints; clear plate glass windows; all under a ribbed copper roof.

PLAN: An irregular polygonal plan although broadly wedge-shaped, narrowing to east. Triangular crypt and narthex to the west, irregular worship space (which combines the nave and chancel) and irregular sacristy and offices to east, behind the altar. Chapel to north-east. Confessionals at south-west corner. External east altar on raised plinth under a later canopy.

EXTERIOR: Of irregular form. Entrance west elevation: low horizontal block providing access to narthex and crypt with decorative iron gates to crypt with eagle plaques representing the arms of the Radziwill family, the Polish Royal House, comprising a black eagle with the Traby, a three-horns symbol, in the centre. Recessed brick wall with crucifix and plain glazing divided into vertical panels to south. Above and set-back from this is an angled canopy with similar glazing to west and centre. Large expanse of ribbed copper roof to centre and south terminating in a triangular glazed and brick south gable. Further glazed triangular gable set-back at the apex of the roof. East elevation: triangular brick gable under copper roof with irregular window at apex; offset cross to south. Stepped concrete platform for external altar under metal framed polycarbonate cover (this is not of special interest). North low, flat-roofed projection (part of the nave internally).

INTERIOR: A striking interior in timber and exposed brick, oriented correctly with the altar to the east. Roof with timber ribs and close planked ceiling which reaches almost to ground level and is subtly lit by uplighters. Roof form and sparing use of modest glazing carefully directs natural light to fall in key areas including the sanctuary. Exposed brick walls used throughout but particularly noticeable given their angular form as an altar backdrop and behind the statue of Saint Anne. Altar set on a polygonal stepped brick platform which serves to bring it closer to the congregation. Small chapel to Saint Faustyna to the north of the altar. Access to the sacristy and offices via a solid planked wooden door to the south of the altar opening into a hallway off which are various small rooms and storage cupboards; other doors are also solid planked doors. Again the predominant material is timber, although the 'reredos' wall forms the west wall of the hallway. Glazed doors lead out to the external altar but are hidden from it by a brick screen wall. Timber confessionals at the west end to the rear of the pews.

FIXTURES AND FITTINGS: Marble statue of St Anne; Stations of the Cross in bronze affixed to the brick walls to the north of the confessionals; memorial plaques on the south and north-west wall, also three large plaques on the north-west wall which are yet to be filled with names, the first of which is the patron, Prince Stanislaw Radsiwill. Also plaques in memorial of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, President of the United States and Robert Francis Kennedy, Attorney General and US Senator; simple wooden bench pews and altar and chapel tables; large crucifix to the north of the altar; Smaller crucifix affixed to the external wall by the entrance to the narthex (which is a simple wooden cross with a bronze Christ); wooden confessionals.

HISTORY: St Anne's Church was built in the early 1970s to the designs of the architect Wladislaw Tadeusz Jeorge Jarosz of the practice William Crabtree & Jarosz. It was intended to act as a college chapel, founder's memorial church and church for the Marian Fathers, a Polish religious community which owns the Fawley Court Estate. It was dedicated in August 1971 and completed in 1973. The Structural Engineer was Taylor, Whalley & Spyra, the Timber Engineer was Rainham Timber Engineering Co Ltd, the contractor was AE Nunn Ltd and the Quantity Surveyor was Cecil F Baker & Partners. The copper roof was by Robert Adlard & Co Ltd, and the artwork for the tabernacle and the sculptural setting for the figure of St Anne was by Maria and Andrew Bobrowski. The founder and patron was Prince Stanislaw Albrecht Radziwill (1914-1976) who built the church in memory of his mother Anne, Princess Lubomirska (1881-1947) who died in a Soviet labour camp in the USSR. Prince Radziwill died in 1976 and is interred in the church crypt.

Fawley Court (a handsome mansion of 1684 reputedly by Sir Christopher Wren, refurbished and extended in 1884, and listed at Grade I) was a private house until 1952 when it was purchased by the Congregation of Marian Fathers. The estate remains (as at 2008) in the occupation of this religious order and is an important focus for the Polish community in Britain with the church still used for the celebration of holy mass. The main house was a boarding school for Polish boys, Divine Mercy College, until the closure of the school in 1986.

Gotz, K, Hoor, D, Mohler, K & Natterer, J, 1978, Holzbau Atlas. Munich: Institute fur international Architektur-Dokumentation-Mur, p118.
Martin, C, 2006, A Glimpse of Heaven: Catholic Churches of England and Wales.
Orton, A, 1988, The Way We Build Now, pp292-294.
Pevsner, N & Williamson, E, 1994, The Buildings of England: Buckinghamshire, pp326-9 includes Fawley Court and its estate buildings.

St Anne's Roman Catholic Church was designed by the architect Wladislaw Tadeusz Jeorge Jarosz and built between 1971-73 for the Polish community of the Congregation of Marian Fathers under the patronage of Prince Stanislaw Albrecht Radziwill. It is designated at Grade II, for the following principal reasons:
* Of special architectural interest for its striking asymmetrical design with bold and interesting massing dominated by its angular roof;
* A modern church of some quality in both its design and execution which displays a thoughtful use of materials;
* Of special historic interest for its significance to the Polish Roman Catholic community and which has associations with the Polish Royal family as the resting place of Prince Radziwill and which was built as a memorial to his mother, Princess Lubomirska.

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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