Sculpture in NW London - modern

Harrow Wealdstone sculpture on St Joseph Roman Catholic Church, by Peter Watts

There is not so much sculpture in the Harrow area, so although this website does not have much modern sculpture, I thought it worth noting this group, by the sculptor Peter Watts, and dating from 1952.

St Joseph frontage with sculpture by Peter Watts.

The sculpture consists of a central crucifixion, with two female figures at the base, under a vast arch, and on the projecting buttresses to the sides, two more, both male, St Peter with his key on the left.

With elegant but simple drapery, and a paring down of detail, together with the hairstyles, these statues are vaguely reminiscent of Eric Gill (who se most familiar sculptures are the Stations of the Cross at Westminster Cathedral), and it comes as no surprise that Watts studied under Philip Lindsay Clark in Gillís circle. Peter Watts (1916-2002), like Lindsay Clark, specialised in ecclesiastical sculpture and was himself a Catholic, and was based in Somerset, where his most significant work is at Bath Abbey: four climbing angels for the West Front. His large oeuvre includes many works in the USA, notably at Gethsemani Abbey in Kentucky.

The four statues beneath the Crucifixion, by Peter Watts

The statues in Harrow Wealdstone are typical of his style.

St Joseph was built in 1931, replacing a previous temporary structure. The design was by Adrian Gilbert Scott, younger brother of Giles Gilbert Scott and grandson of the famous Victorian architect, George Gilbert Scott, and is in what has been described as a late Arts and Crafts style. The main feature is this tall arch at the front of the tower. Along the road and into the High Street proper, are two further churches: firstly the Baptist Church, built by John Wills & Son in 1905, and surely the most distinctive building in Wealdstone, faced with deep red terra cotta. And secondly the Parish Church of Holy Trinity, by Roumieu and Aitchison, put up in 1881, a stumpy but much more traditional church built of Kentish ragstone.

Two views of St Joseph RC Church, by Adrian Gilbert Scott.

There are various Victorian and Edwardian buildings, of which we will note just two. Firstly, the War Memorial Clock Tower of 1923, designed by the architect Harold F. Walker, still in a somewhat Victorian Big Ben style. Modestly sized and a real asset. And secondly, Harrow and Wealdstone Railway Station, the cause of the boom in population in the 20th Century. It is just a little further along the High Street from Holy Trinity Church, and was designed by the architect Gerald C. Horsley, and erected 1912.

Baptist Church, War Memorial Clock Tower, and contemporary view of the railway station.

Monuments in Harrow on the Hill Church nearby // And in Pinner Church, also nearby