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Brompton Oratory • London

Brompton Oratory • London

Brompton Oratory building

Ornate, colorful and flamboyant, the Brompton Oratory is London’s second largest Catholic church. Built between 1880 and 1884, the church is officially named the Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, but it is popularly known as the Brompton Oratory thanks to its location on Brompton Road in London’s South Kensington neighborhood.

Brompton Oratory Nave

Brompton Oratory Main dome with the Four Evangelists

In 1876, the newly-founded London oratory held a design competition to create the church, and Herbert Gribble won. Three years later, the foundation stone was laid, and the new church was consecrated in 1884. Faced in Portland stone with a concrete dome, the church was London’s largest Catholic house of worship until Westminster Cathedral opened in 1903.

Brompton Oratory Chancel

Gribble’s design drew on the Roman Baroque, Italian Renaissance and Wren styles, resulting in one of London’s most beautiful landmarks. Exotic marbles define the altars and apse, detailed carvings decorate the interior and sculptures by Italian master Giuseppe Mazzuoli welcome visitors.

See Also

St. Philip’s Altar & Lady Chapel

The church’s organ is one of the finest made since the Second World War, and its choir is recognized around the world as one of the greatest custodians of the liturgical tradition.

Brompton Oratory facade

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