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RC Church of Our Lady of the Assumption and St Therese

A Grade II Listed Building in Presteigne, Powys

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Latitude: 52.2691 / 52°16'8"N

Longitude: -2.9972 / 2°59'49"W

OS Eastings: 332051

OS Northings: 263905

OS Grid: SO320639

Mapcode National: GBR B6.Z2T3

Mapcode Global: VH773.07CC

Entry Name: RC Church of Our Lady of the Assumption and St Therese

Listing Date: 9 August 2007

Last Amended: 9 August 2007

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 87528

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: Towards SE end of built-up area of Presteigne; attached to Greenfield House.

County: Powys

Community: Presteigne (Llanandras)

Community: Presteigne

Built-Up Area: Presteigne

Traditional County: Radnorshire

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The church was designed in 1954 by Francis Pollen who went on to design notable buildings at Worth Abbey and Downside Abbey. The church is in a very simple Mediterranean style since it was designed to be physically built by the nuns of the adjacent Carmelite convent (now a private house). It is built of rendered blockwork on a stone plinth with some stone details. The deeply-set doorway and battered walls give the illusion of strength, but the building has standard cavity walls. The building served both as Nun''s chapel and as a parish church. The Nuns left in 1988.
The refined design and careful use of simple materials recall Lutyens who was a great influence on Pollen at this early stage in his career, and had built and remodelled homes for Pollen''s family. Pollen later said "I believe that churches must feel as if they had just happened as a result of divine laws of geometry, mechanics and proportion; timeless laws"
Inside the church, there are two inscriptions designed by the artist David Jones (1895-1974). Jones, a catholic convert, was a personal friend of the Pollen family, and came to specialise in inscriptions in the Welsh Language. At one end is a "chi rho", and at the other words from the Mass in Welsh and Latin designed in 1956, but only painted in 1988. Two small stained glass windows of the rising and setting sun are by Paul Quail. The relief of the Assumption of the Virgin is by Jane Quail, carved in 1988.


Church in simple Mediterranean style, rendered blockwork on a stone plinth with some stone details; slate roof. Gabled entrance has belcote, and deeply-set round-headed doorway above which is roundel with relief of Assumption. Sides elevations each with two windows of grey slate, two lights with circular light above. On L side, roofslope continues over a small chapel with small windows to sides. On R side, at right angles is the annexe (formerly the Nun''s choir) with 4 square windows and porch.
The rear of the church is attached to the house by a C19 corridor with vestries etc.


Inside, the roof has plain scissor trusses and plywood boarding; plastered walls. The sanctuary has 2 round-headed doorways to rear wall leading to sacristy. Rear wall with "chi rho" by David Jones. Plinth with altar said to contain stones from medieval foundations. To L, tabernacle on pier designed by Pollen in 1975. Chapel with small rectangular stained glass windows by Paul Quail. To R, the annexe with scissor truss roof as church. Above entrance doorway, inscription designed by David Jones.

Reasons for Listing

Included as a very early work by an architect of some prestige, with quality artworks by distinguished RC artists and for Group Value with the adjacent listed Greenfield House.

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