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Front Portico and Towers of the Former St Augustines of Canterbury Rc Church

A Grade II Listed Building in Preston, Lancashire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.7559 / 53°45'21"N

Longitude: -2.6916 / 2°41'29"W

OS Eastings: 354499

OS Northings: 429062

OS Grid: SD544290

Mapcode National: GBR TC4.53

Mapcode Global: WH85M.MVHH

Entry Name: Front Portico and Towers of the Former St Augustines of Canterbury Rc Church

Listing Date: 27 September 1979

Last Amended: 27 January 2009

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1291702

English Heritage Legacy ID: 392137

Location: Preston, Lancashire, PR1

County: Lancashire

District: Preston

Town: Preston

Electoral Ward/Division: Town Centre

Built-Up Area: Preston

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lancashire

Church of England Parish: Preston The Risen Lord

Church of England Diocese: Blackburn

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Listing Text

PRESTON

941-1/12/247 ST AUSTINS PLACE
27-SEP-79 (South side)
Front portico and towers of the former
St Augustine's of Canterbury RC Church

(Formerly listed as:
ST AUSTINS PLACE
ST AUGUSTINE'S OF CANTERBURY RC CHURCH)
(Formerly listed as:
ST AUSTINS PLACE
CHURCH OF ST AUGUSTINE)

II

The front portico and flanking towers of the former St Augustine's of Canterbury Roman Catholic Church originally designed by the architect F. W. Tuach and built between 1838-40, enlarged in 1879 and substantially modified to plans by Sinnott, Sinnott and Powell in 1890.

MATERIALS: Red brick with sandstone ashlar and sandstone dressings.

PLAN: The building is sub-rectangular with an unlisted modern addition attached to its south side.

EXTERIOR: The north front elevation has a pedimented ashlar portico with Ionic columns distyle in antis topped by a dentilled pediment. Flanking the portico are rectangular single-storey flat-roofed side porches predominantly in ashlar with small front windows under cornices. The portico's inner double timber door has a moulded architrave with a panel above. Affixed to the wall to the right of the doorway is a commemorative plaque recording the names of the fallen of the parish who died during World War I. Dominating the portico are two prominent side towers in brick with sandstone dressings executed in an Italian Renaissance style. The tower's brickwork has rusticated horizontal banding almost to full height with pedimented stone aedicules to the front and returns and a dentilled cornice continuing from the junction with the portico and continuing around the return. Lintels, sills and moulded horizontal banding is in sandstone. The towers are finished with octagonal cupolas topped by crosses. At a slightly lower height there is a rising stone parapet between the towers topped by a centrally-positioned stone cross. An unlisted modern extension is attached to the rear of the portico and towers.

INTERIOR: The interior of the portico and towers was modernised during the early 2000s. Offices occupy the ground and first floor of the west tower and the former organ gallery. A staircase has been inserted into the east tower. The former timber organ gallery has been removed, renovated and replaced at a greater height than its former position and now projects into the new build.

HISTORY: St Augustine's of Canterbury Roman Catholic Church was built between 1838-40 to a design by the architect F.W.Tuach. Its construction originated after a rebellion of Liberal Catholic laymen against the domination of a Jesuit mission. In 1879 the church was enlarged by the addition of a new sanctuary. Major alterations were made in 1890 to plans by Sinnott, Sinnott & Powell when the ceiling was raised, the gallery removed and the nave extended by about 6m. At the same time the church's front was remodelled by the construction of two towers surmounted by cupolas being added to the refashioned earlier Ionic portico. Collapse of part of the ceiling and panelling in 1984 led to the discovery of widespread dry rot and the church was immediately closed. It remained closed until demolition of the whole of the church apart from the front portico and its towers during the early years of the 2000s, after which a new community centre was constructed on the site of the former church and land immediately adjacent.

SOURCES: John Garlington: Preston: Views of the Past (1990), 56-7. Carnegie Publications.

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION DECISION:
The front portico and towers of the former St Augustine's of Canterbury Roman Catholic Church are designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Despite demolition of the main section of St Augustine's of Canterbury Roman Catholic Church in the early 2000s, the front portico and towers remain intact.
* The well-balanced and successfully executed juxtaposition of Classical Ionic and Italian Renaissance design from the 1890s modification of the church provides significant architectural merit.
* The surviving elements of the former church remain as a conspicuous architectural element of the local streetscape.

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

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