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Tower of Holloway church could finally be built 150 years after cash flow halted project

PUBLISHED: 18:00 28 August 2019

Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Eden Grove. Picture: Google Maps

Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Eden Grove. Picture: Google Maps

Archant

Plans are in place to finish building a Holloway church 150 years after a lack of cash halted its construction - but not everyone is happy with the idea.

Some locals feel finally completing the tower of Sacred Heart of Jesus in Eden Grove is inappropriate and say the fact it's missing is part of the church's story.

It was designed by notable Victorian architect Frederick Hyde Pownall to improve the extremely impoverished the area by adding some architectural beauty to it.

Built circa 1870, it was due to have a tall tower - the kind seen on Pownall's other ecclesiastical works - but funds dried up in the parish and it was capped off.

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Now the Westminster Roman Catholic Diocese Trust has submitted plans to Islington Council to realise Pownall's vision for the church.

But in their report, officers said: "Some objectors have expressed the view that it is inappropriate to complete the tower now - nearly 150 years after the foundation stone was laid - and the fact the tower is missing is part of the building's story.

"However, the reason the tower was never built was because the parish ran out of money; the current form of the building is therefore not the result of a historically significant event.

"Whilst there is the potential for some loss of legibility of the evolution of the historic building, and therefore authenticity, the aesthetic value and symbolic value of the tower are highly important characteristics of the original design, and of Victorian ecclesiastical buildings in general.

"The construction of the tower would enable a better appreciation of the heritage asset as it was intended to be experienced. Relevant statutory bodies including Historic England, the Victorian Society and Ancient Monuments Society have all expressed support in principle, lauding the tower as a 'brave and commendable' scheme which would enhance the significance of the listed building."

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