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Roman Catholic Church of St Patricks

A Grade II* Listed Building in City of Westminster, London

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Latitude: 51.5154 / 51°30'55"N

Longitude: -0.1313 / 0°7'52"W

OS Eastings: 529765

OS Northings: 181268

OS Grid: TQ297812

Mapcode National: GBR GB.PX

Mapcode Global: VHGQZ.N5ZL

Plus Code: 9C3XGV89+5F

Entry Name: Roman Catholic Church of St Patricks

Listing Date: 5 February 1970

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1236286

English Heritage Legacy ID: 427246

Also known as: St Patrick's Church, Soho Square

ID on this website: 101236286

Location: Soho, Westminster, London, W1D

County: London

District: City of Westminster

Electoral Ward/Division: West End

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: City of Westminster

Traditional County: Middlesex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: St Anne Soho

Church of England Diocese: London

Tagged with: Church building

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1900/58/12 SOHO SQUARE W1
05-FEB-70 Roman Catholic Church of St Patricks


Roman Catholic Church. 1891-93 by John Kelly of Kelly and Birchall in Renaissance style replacing a reused late C18 building adapted for Catholic worship since 1802. Dark red brick of small gauge with rubbed brick detail. Italianate with early Renaissance simplified detail. Comprises west campanile tower, vestibule, antechapel, aisled nave, apsidal sanctuary and south chapel. West tower as campanile 125 feet high over principal entrance, with small stone Corinthian pedimented and columned porch, with inscription "UT CHRISTIANI ITA ET ROMANI SITIS" on narrow former house plot frontage to square; the tower has four pilastered stages with arcaded openings, and deep bracketed eaves cornice to pyramidal roof. Second stage has statue of St Francis in arched alcove. Inscription above third stage and bellstage above with paired round-headed arches and Diocletian arch above. Neo-Baroque cast iron railings at base but gates 1945 replacements. Raised and fielded panelled wooden doors. Adjoining to the right is the Presbytery no 21A which is separately listed. On north side to Sutton Row bold elevational treatment with arcading, pilasters and moulded cornices. Two bay tower and narthex set back at ground floor level to allow fixing of cast iron railings in Baroque style. North aisle then set back as nine bay north wall , but at clerestorey level one bay run as open screen to light hidden west gable of nave. Clerestorey proper expressed thereafter as five bay two storeys with set back elevation with brick buttresses. Pedimented gable end to nave. Pedimented stone doorcase in fifth bay and service door with windows above in ninth bay. Above two final bays on north the sanctuary and apse are expressed at clerestorey level only.
INTERIOR: Tower serves as vestibule, octagonal on plan. On the south side a late C18 Pieta figure of an angel holding the Dead Christ, carved white marble, now gold metal painted, the lower part of the monument in statuary and yellow marble, the plinth forming a Holy water stoup, also metal gilt painted, the whole design within a round-headed alcove. Also probable late C18 fixed Holy Water stoup with gadrooned sides on moulded octagonal plinth. Hanging lamp with the donor's name 1929. Neo-Renaissance in style. Wall plaque inscribed "this is the oldest mission in England dedicated to St Patrick. The building which occupied part of this site known as Father O'Leary's Chapel was opened in 1792. The present church was opened on 17 March 1893..."
Two bay narthex between vestibule and nave has access to presbytery on the right. Within the first bay is a memorial to the Irish Franciscan Capuchin Priest Rev. Arthur O'Leary OSF (b. 1729 ordained 1756) died 1802 aged 78. A standing figure of Faith holding a cross leaning on a plinth with books including Holy Bible, the plinth with a bust of the priest surrounded by a shamrock wreath, the crowned harp of Ireland formerly above now missing. Statuary marble part relief with inscription below against a green marble obelisk. Artist not known but an important and possibly unique memorial to an C18 Catholic priest working in France, England and Ireland. Second bay has stairs to gallery on north. On south altar to St Anthony of Padua. Two semi-quadrant white marble altar rails and grey marble tiled floor. Altar and reredos in Byzantine style with variegated marble frontal and reredos, incorporating two c1890 paintings on canvas unsigned. Wooden statue of the Saint under marble niche with attic above. Partly painted pilasters and soffits of architrave above.
Nave of five bays with attached pilasters and entablature supporting clerstorey. Enriched Corinthian Order with arches in between. Two arched windows to each clerestorey bay with intervening Corinthian piers with capitals of gilt painted plaster. Impressive semi-circular Roman barrel-vaulted ceiling, wooden with stencilled coffers. Terrazzo floor to centre aisle and access to benches mounted on wooden floor. Benches c1893 of stained deal. Rear bay has tripartite arrangement supporting gallery above. Two standing marble figures of life-size angels with Holy Water stoups, possibly from the Moorfields church. At north plaster Pieta below window. On south side a separate bay for baptistery with a black and white tiled marble floor. Fixed stone font, painted stone with wooden gilt top. Fixed marble altar above with painting of Baptism of Christ above. Stained glass window of Baptism of Christ of 1921. Wooden surround to statue of St Anne and the Virgin. At rear a fixed plaque recording "rectors of St Patrick's church" from 1792 to 1798, incorporating an upper level bas relief of St Peter, probably C18.
On north side the "side chapels" are actually simple recesses between the arches. At north on entry a fixed marble shelf on columns. In next bay a wooden confession box c1893. In next bay a late C18 bombe-shaped altar table metal gilt painted and very fine mahogany and gilt gradine and reredos with fixed tabernacle with inlaid door, late C18 and said to be from another London Catholic chapel of the date. Also carved painted statue of the Virgin above under reused late C19 bed tester. Next bay has carved wooden confessional box as above, fixed pulpit square on plan, of carved variegated marbles in neo-Renaissance style, attached to wall neo-Renaissance carved mahogany backboard and tester, probably a gift of 1901 (inscription). Next bay has a fixed marble altar c1900 with wooden statue of St John Bosco, by Delapre, maker.
On the south side from the first bay of the narthex a three storey statuary marble altar to the Virgin, elaborate reredos with Corinthian order supporting an elaborate pedimented and scrolled attic and marble statue of the Virgin of Lourdes, possibly a gift of 1892. Next bay has a fixed alabaster altar in High Victorian Gothic style with polychromatic frontal of stylises leaves, spars etc. Tripartite panel painting above fixed afgainst wall forming shallow reredos below fixed picture, Christ with Martha and Mary. All contained under Ionic columns supporting segmental pediment of late C18 date, the reredos of the altar of the 1793 church. Next bay, fixed marble altar and reredos with columns supporting segmental pediment with fixed painting of St Joseph and the Christ Child and inscription to dedication of reredos of 1892. Next bay has fixed wooden altar with attached thin marble panel within elaborate gilt frame and central flaming Sacred Heart against sunburst, late C18 from the gallery of the previous church. A reredos of plinth supporting semi-detached pairs of lotus columns supporting triangular pediment, all late C18. Fixed painted wood statue of Christ by Mayer and Co. of Munich, c1860. On the south side also is a domed side chapel, square on plan, with no access available. This is dedicated to the Lady of Sorrows and is said to contain a Pieta by Theodore Phyffers, Sculptor, c1860.
The Sanctuary arch is expressed through two storeys with enriched compound Corinthian pilasters. Initial half-bay and apsed plan lit from pair of windows north and south but no lighting at east end. Stencilled lettered quotations in frieze of entablature and either side of fixed marble panel of St Patrick in attic storey. Gilt and green stencilled decoration to coffer ceiling. Fixed marble communion rails neo-Renaissance in style, with pair of gilt metal gates. At Sanctuary level the floor is laid in marble of Byzantine inspiration. There is a detached working altar made from the mensa of the original high altar, which survives as a dwarf wall in the original position with a half reredos. Above the altar C18 hanging picture of Crucifixion after Van Dyck. Marble lining on south and round apse c1930? Two doorcases of similar date incorporating the harp of Ireland to standard C18 classical design. In north bay a polished wood classical probably C18 organ case within its own niche. A single bank of fixed choir benches on south.
HISTORY: Existing building replaces a late C18 building adapted for Catholic worship and used since 1802 and retains late C18 Roman Catholic church monuments and altars of great rarity. The church has a strong claim to be the first Roman Catholic Church in England dedicated to St Patrick as required by a large late C18 and C19 Irish population in this part of London. The architects were one of the unsuccessful competitors for the Brompton Oratory and the Italian Renaissance style is comparatively rare for church architecture in the last decade of the C19.

["Survey of London. Parish of St Anne's Soho". Volume 31 (1966) pp79-80.
Alexander Rottmann "London Catholic Churches: a historical and artistic record (1926), pp. 57-65.]

Listing NGR: TQ2976581268

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