St Lawrence's Church

St Lawrence’s Church

High Street

Built in 15th century as a church with 18th century alterations, now derelict..

Grade II* listed

On English Heritage “At Risk” Register.

In Grand Union Canal & Boston Manor Conservation Area; Thames Policy.

EH Listing Description

Former church. Tower C15 altered C19; body of church 1764 by Thomas Hardwicke  (old list); south aisle and north vestry added C19; interior re-done 1889  (Pevsner p.28); 1970s restoration work. Tower of Kentish rag with ashlar  dressing; body of church of brown brick in Flemish bond with ashlar dressings;  Welsh slate roofs. 3-stage west tower; 3-bay aisled nave with 1-bay chancel,  all in one, having additional south aisle, north vestry and small sanctuary.

Tower: plinth; diagonal buttresses with offsets, and quoins to 2nd and 3rd  stages; chamfered offsets between stages. Vice at north-east angle is octagonal  on plan, becoming circular at top stage, with chamfered doorway at base and  slit windows. West side of tower has round-arched C19 board door with decorative hinges in architrave, with C15 window above of 3 cusped lights in 2-centre-  arched opening. Rectangular opening to 2nd stage on west and north sides,  south side masked by C18 work. A louvred 2-centred-arched belfry window to  north, west and south sides. Cornice below embattled parapet.

Nave and chancel:  north side: chancel bay slightly set back and partly masked by added gabled  vestry. Bays defined by giant pilasters with stone imposts supporting round  arches; each bay has a blind segmental-arched window below taller round-arched  window which has late C20 tracery, copying original, of 2 arched lights with  circle over. Ashlar coping. South side masked by aisle addition, but has  upper windows as before. At west end on north side are steps up to double door  of 8 raised and fielded panels in ashlar architrave with pulvinated frieze  and cornice; the top step is inscribed “to the vault of George Cooper”.

Sanctuary east window blocked. Interior: pointed tower arch of several orders,  the central hollow-moulded order supported by short columns with moulded  capitals. Body of church has late C19 wooden round-arched arcades, the columns  octagonal and having moulded bases and acanthus leaf capitals; clerestory  windows of tripled round-arched lights; braced queen-post roof trusses with  inner columns supporting round arch. Chancel has wooden screens either side, with 2 tiers of round-arched arcades, on slender columns below and twisted columns above.

At west end of nave a wall monument to Thomas Hardwicke,  architect, d.1829, and other members of family; one south wall a circular  monument with drapes to Rev William Coome, 1810 by Coade and Sealy; other memorials removed. In tower, tombstone of Dame Mary, widow of Sir Edward  Spencer, d.1658, with 2 heart-shaped coats of arms. Other good monuments have been removed (see photos in National Monuments Record).

EH “At Risk” Description

Former C15 church tower, nave 1764 by Thomas Hardwicke. Victorian additions. Empty since 1960s and stripped of fittings. Urgent repairs to the medieval tower were carried out; building since neglected but weathertight. Proposals for waterside development, including the church, have stalled. Condition of the building is deteriorating.


Closed for services late 1950s and parish amalgamated with St Paul’s. Building used for storage and as a saleroom when ideas of use as a dinner and theatre club came to nothing. Some memorials are in the Museum of London and some are known to be missing from 1950s lists. Parts of the first James Clitherow’s (died 1682) memorial is in a garden wall in Highgate and the coat of arms in Australia.

The war memorial which used to be at St Lawrence’s was moved to the garden of Brentford Library.

As of September 2013 – Planning permission applied for by Ballymore to convert the  church  into a gym.

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One thought on “St Lawrence’s Church

  1. I’ve discovered that Thomas Hardwick is potentially my ..8th Great Grandfather, trying to ascertain as to where his family vault is, as he was buried there at this Church.

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