Norwood, including Southall: Roman catholicism

Pages 52-53

A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 4, Harmondsworth, Hayes, Norwood With Southall, Hillingdon With Uxbridge, Ickenham, Northolt, Perivale, Ruislip, Edgware, Harrow With Pinner. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1971.

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There is no record of Roman Catholicism in Norwood until the parish of St. Anselm, Southall Green, was founded in 1906. (fn. 1) The chapel, a temporary building, was opened in 1907. (fn. 2) In 1919-20 a new hall and church were opened. (fn. 3) The hall was used as a mixed junior and infants' school in and after 1921. (fn. 4) In 1930 a new church of St. Anselm was opened (fn. 5) but this too was considered temporary by 1961. (fn. 6) At that date it was a long, low, brick building with a separate small wooden bell turret; the roof was supported on iron girders and the east end was separated from the nave by 3 brick arches. The site for another church on the Green was being proposed in 1967. (fn. 7)

After the First World War the former St. Marylebone school in South Road (fn. 8) was bought as a Roman Catholic girls' school and renamed St. Joseph's. (fn. 9) The school, which was run by the Daughters of the Cross, (fn. 10) was offered for sale in 1931. The buildings were demolished soon afterwards and are now commemorated in St. Joseph's Drive. (fn. 11)


In 1878 the Primitive Methodists registered a chapel in Western Road, Southall. (fn. 12) The present chapel building, standing on the corner of Western and Sussex Roads, was erected in 1876-7. (fn. 13) In 1961 it was a twostory building of yellow brick with a slate roof and a cement-rendered front. The Wesleyan Methodists opened a chapel in South Road in 1885 (fn. 14) which was re-registered in 1907. (fn. 15) Before 1916 the chapel had been joined by the Wesley Hall. (fn. 16) At that date both chapel and hall were demolished, and the present King's Hall was erected and opened on their site, the architect being Sir Alfred Gelder of Hull. (fn. 17) The King's Hall formed the headquarters of Wesleyan Methodism in the area and provided a place for their social and religious meetings. (fn. 18) In 1961 the hall consisted of a large rectangular 3-story building with a red brick and stone front facing South Road.

The Baptists founded a church in Western Road in 1889, (fn. 19) which was registered in 1890. (fn. 20) Six years later the site and the chapel, a temporary one, were vested in trustees. A further piece of land, on the corner of Western and St. John's Roads, was added in 1898. (fn. 21) The chapel was rebuilt in 1901, (fn. 22) and the old corrugated iron chapel was then used as a Sunday school. (fn. 23) This building, an annexe to the church, was rebuilt in 1912-13. (fn. 24) The surviving trustees vested it in the London Baptist Property Board in 1930. (fn. 25) Branch Sunday schools were also held at the schools in Lady Margaret Road and Carlyle Avenue, and at the Norwood Green School. (fn. 26) In 1961 the church was a plain, yellow brick building, with red brick arches over the doors and windows and a small wooden central cupola. The annexe was a fairly large hall with offices attached. A Baptist mission station at the junction of Thorncliffe Road and Norwood Road, Norwood Green, was registered in 1946, but the registration was cancelled in 1954. (fn. 27)

The Congregationalists are said to have founded a congregation in a private house in 1909 although increased numbers eventually led to their renting a hall. (fn. 28) The church itself was formed in 1911 (fn. 29) and a building in Villiers Road was registered in 1913. (fn. 30) This was an iron building given by the friends of Penge (Kent) Congregational Church. (fn. 31) The present building was erected adjoining it and registered in 1932. (fn. 32) In 1961 the church, which lay alongside Villiers Road, was a red brick building, with entrances at each end and a large free-standing centre facade of brick.

The Barn Mission took its name from evangelical services held in the 'old barn' of a Southall farm between 1862 and 1889, when the barn was burned down. A hall was used until 1898 when the founder and owner, H. Baxter, left Southall. Thereafter the mission used various premises including St. John's (church) hall and a carpenter's shop. (fn. 33) Between 1909 and 1921 their hall was situated behind 8-9 Alexandra Villas, Norwood Road. In 1921 a new hall was opened (fn. 34) on the present site in Norwood Road which apparently consisted of the re-erected St. George's school hall. The present building was erected in 1935-6. The Mission itself is affiliated to the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches. (fn. 35)

A Salvation Army barracks in Waltham Road was first registered in 1885, and re-registered as a hall in 1897. (fn. 36) The Salvation Army Citadel in Adelaide Road is said to have been opened in 1883, but it was not registered until 1905; (fn. 37) it seems most likely in fact to have been the successor to the earlier Waltham Road barracks. In 1961 this remained the headquarters of the Army in Southall. Between 1913 and 1927 it also had a hall, the Athenaeum, on South Road. (fn. 38) In 1927 a second hall, which was still in use in 1961, was opened on the Broadway (Uxbridge Road). (fn. 39)

The Gospel Hall in Hammond Road, Southall, was erected in 1898, (fn. 40) although previously meetings had been held in various houses. The congregation termed itself 'brethren' and had no set order of service. (fn. 41) The hall was small and built of yellow brick, with a red brick front, and a round-arched porch in the centre. The Christian Brethren first met in 1904 and moved in 1935 to the Ebenezer Hall in Kingston Road. (fn. 42) The congregation had no paid minister and was registered for marriages and funerals. (fn. 43) The hall in 1961 was a small brick building with a tiled roof and central cupola. The Assemblies of God started a mission in Southall in 1920, and the Glad Tidings Hall at 15 Hortus Road, Southall, was opened in 1926. (fn. 44) At its registration the building was called the Ebenezer Hall, but it appears to have no connexion with the hall of the same name registered in 1935 by the Christian Brethren. (fn. 45) In 1961 the building was constructed of corrugated iron.

The Southall Spiritualist Church was founded as a meeting in a private house in Osterley Park Road in 1930, (fn. 46) and the church in Hortus Road was registered in 1932. (fn. 47) This building was rented by the congregation until 1954 when it bought the freehold. (fn. 48) In 1961 the church was a small corrugated iron building. Another Spiritualist centre, opened in 1938 in Featherstone Road, Southall, had evidently fallen into disuse by 1954. (fn. 49) The Pentecostal Assembly rented a room in 1934 in a building in Cambridge Road, Southall, describing themselves simply as Christians. The registration was cancelled by 1954. (fn. 50) The Southall Sisterhood, an undenominational group which in 1961 met weekly, held their meetings in a corrugated iron hall which stood on the corner of Villiers Road and Park Avenue. This hall was the first Congregational church in Southall, and stands next to the present Congregational church. (fn. 51) The Southall Brotherhood met in the Norwood Road Sisterhood Hall opposite Endsleigh Road. The hall was built in 1929 of red and yellow brick with a small central porch. The Brotherhood and the Norwood Road Sisterhood, also an undenominational body, met weekly. The North Road Hall, apparently erected in the 1930s, was a meeting place of Christians every Sunday in 1961. The red brick building had a small south porch, a tiled roof, and a centre louvre.


  • 1. Catholic Dir. (1960).
  • 2. Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 42375.
  • 3. Ex inf. a sister.
  • 4. Ed. 7/86.
  • 5. Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 52754.
  • 6. Ex inf. the sister-in-charge.
  • 7. Ex inf. Southall libr.
  • 8. See p. 54.
  • 9. Kirwan, Southall, 46.
  • 10. Catholic Dir. (1925).
  • 11. Kirwan, Southall, 46.
  • 12. Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 24206.
  • 13. Foundation stone.
  • 14. Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 28758.
  • 15. Ibid. 42193.
  • 16. Ibid. 46853.
  • 17. Ibid. 46912; Southall Official Handbk. (n.d.), 60.
  • 18. Southall-Norwood and Hayes Official Guide (1924), 15.
  • 19. Baptist Handbk. (1960).
  • 20. Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 31985.
  • 21. Char. Com. files.
  • 22. Foundation stone.
  • 23. Southall Official Guide (n.d.), 59; Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 38870.
  • 24. Foundation stone.
  • 25. Char. Com. files.
  • 26. Baptist Handbk. (1960).
  • 27. Ibid. (1950); Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 61412.
  • 28. Southall Official Guide (n.d.), 59.
  • 29. Congregational Yearbk. (1960).
  • 30. Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 45816.
  • 31. See below sub Southall Sisterhood Hall.
  • 32. Southall Official Guide (n.d.), 59; Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 53722.
  • 33. Ex inf. the minister.
  • 34. Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 43982, 48197.
  • 35. Ex inf. the minister.
  • 36. Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 29074, 35858.
  • 37. Ibid. 40873; Southall Official Guide (n.d.), 60.
  • 38. Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 45655.
  • 39. Ibid. 50862.
  • 40. Foundation stone.
  • 41. Ex inf. Mr. G. Retallick.
  • 42. Ex inf. the treasurer; Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 55882.
  • 43. Ex inf. the treasurer.
  • 44. Ex inf. the minister; Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 50370.
  • 45. See above.
  • 46. Ex inf. the secretary.
  • 47. Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 54116.
  • 48. Ex inf. the secretary.
  • 49. Gen. Reg. Off., Wship. Reg. 58472.
  • 50. Ibid. 55228.
  • 51. See above.