Roman Catholic Church and presbytery by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott. The church was opened July 1929 and consecrated in 1954 (1,000 years after the birth of the patron saint, Alphege). Presbytery completed 1958. Internal carvings largely by William Drinkwater Gough.
The Church of Our Lady and St Alphege was built in Bath in response to an increase in the Catholic population of the city during the 1920s. Bath’s Catholic population was in the care of both the secular and regular clergy during this period. The former served the Church of St Mary in Julian Road to the north of the city; and the Benedictine community at Downside served the Priory Church of St John the Evangelist in the central South Parade. A site in Oldfield Park, alongside the railway, in the south of the city was selected for the new church. The architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott who was working on the nave of the Abbey Church of St Gregory the Great, at Downside Abbey (which was completed in 1925 and is listed at Grade I) was commissioned to design the new church.
Sir Giles Gilbert Scott (1880-1960) established himself as one of the most accomplished and sophisticated ecclesiastic architects in Britain, designing for both Anglican and Roman Catholic parishes. One of his most famous commissions, Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral (listed at Grade I), was a massive undertaking that was to occupy Scott throughout his life; it was consecrated in 1924, but construction continued throughout Scott’s life and was finally completed in 1980, some twenty years after his death. Scott also designed many secular buildings, including Battersea and Bankside Power Stations in London (the former listed at Grade II*), and the K6 telephone box to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of King George V in 1935. The London-based sculptor, William Drinkwater Gough, was responsible for the stone carving within the church. He collaborated with Scott on several commissions including the Abbey Church in Ampleforth, North Yorkshire (listed at Grade II), the Church of St Bartholomew in Brighton (listed at Grade I), and Liverpool Cathedral.