Full Report for Listed Buildings
Summary Description of a Listed Buildings
Date of Designation
Date of Amendment
Name of Property
Church of Our Lady Star of the Sea, St Winifred
Isle of Anglesey
In an elevated position, set back from the N side of the A5025 on the way out to Porth Llechog (Bull Bay).
Religious, Ritual and Funerary
C20 Roman Catholic church, built in the 1930s. Designed by G Rinvolucri, an Italian architect who was originally brought to Wales as a prisoner of war. He subsequently married a local woman, and lived and worked in north Wales, specialising in Roman Catholic churches. He also designed a number of other churches in Wales, including those at Abergele, and Porthmadog.
Striking and individual Roman Catholic church which uses design elements embodying a nautical theme. The main body of the church is a high domed stressed concrete construction which has advanced ribs along its length, as the upturned hull of a boat. This is on a roughcast rendered plinth with portholes to each 'ribbed' bay. The entrance faces the road to the S, a dressed stone facade with raking sides, stepped up and surmounted by a plain stone cross. The main, central, entrance is reached by flanking flights of stone steps; a pointed arched doorway of 2 orders. Above the doorway is a star shaped light set within a mosaic surround. Below the main entrance, under the steps, is a square-headed doorway with flanking pointed arched windows. To the rear of the main body of the church is a flat roofed vestry accessed by a dog leg flight of stone steps with rubblestone walls; the top flight over a tall arch. A further doorway to the lower floor of the church is to the rear of the E wall.
The main entrance leads into a small vestibule with raking sides; further doorways lead into the S end of the main body of the church. The ribbing that is such a prominent feature of the exterior of the church also dominates the design of the interior; the body of the church illuminated by bands of geometrically patterned lights between the ribs. The lateral walls have marble panels which also follow the pattern of the ribs; to the top are paired panels, each with a moulded quatrefoil plaques depicting biblical scenes, plain paired panels below. The marbled panels continue at the far end of the church, raised up over round-headed doorways flanking a recess painted with a depiction of the crucifixion; star shaped lights follow the line of the domed arch.
Reason for designation
Listed as a remarkable inter-war church, a highly unusual and experimental design which exploits the plastic qualities of its constructional material to create a powerfully expressive religious building.
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