Brompton Oratory

Brompton Oratory

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Brompton Oratory

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The Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, popularly known as Brompton Oratory, is a Roman Catholic church in South Kensington, London. It is situated on Brompton Road, next to the Victoria and Albert Museum, at the junction with Cromwell Gardens.



John Henry Newman converted to Catholicism in 1845; and founded Birmingham Oratory, dedicated to Saint Philip Neri. Other converts, including Frederick William Faber founded a London Oratory in premises near Charing Cross. They purchased a property in November 1852 for £16,000; in the (then) semi-rural western suburbs. An Oratory House was built first, followed shortly by a temporary church; both designed by J. J. Scoles. An appeal was launched in 1874 for funds to build a church. Within the Oratory House is a chapel, known as the Little Oratory.

The Church still belongs to and is served by the Congregation of the London Oratory (see London Oratory). There are two other Oratories in the UK, the Birmingham Oratory and the Oxford Oratory.


A design from Herbert Gribble, then 29, won a competition in March 1876. The foundation stone was laid in June 1880; and the new church was consecrated on 16 April 1884. The church is faced in Portland stone, with the vaults and dome in concrete; the latter was heightened in profile and the cupola added in 1895, standing tall. It was the largest Catholic church in London before the opening of Westminster......
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