St Nicholas Church - EH Smith

St Nicholas Church


The second post Emancipation Catholic church in Kenilworth in Warwickshire – the earlier and more compact St Augustine’s having been designed by Pugin – the parishes were combined in the 1980s.

Marson Rathbone Taylor (now MRT Architects) designed a bold red brick church in a Romanesque style to sit on a Warwick Road site acquired by the church in the 1960s. The church was completed in 1993 and was later accompanied by a community centre, also by Marson Rathbone Taylor, completed in the early 2000s.

The striking design of the church is a reminder of the traditions of Catholic church building, relatively uncommon in the 1990s, but with well researched reference to nineteenth century traditions. A smart and unifying consolidation of the architectural styles and contemporary needs of the combined Catholic parishes of Kenilworth.

Distinctive bucks multi bricks from Bovingdon Brick, an EH Smith company, are laid in stretcher bond, with strings and detailing of artificial stone and brick ornament at the wall-head. It was unusual to use this type of brick outside the home counties at this time, but the Architects were drawn to the rich colour and texture and the flexibility of the handmade bricks for the numerous special shapes required.

Location: Kenilworth

Architect: Marson Rathbone Taylor (now MRT Architects)