The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

Click to see full size Photo © John East
Lady chapel screen courtesy Guildford Cathedral Archives
Courtesy Guildford Cathedral Archives

100 Buildings 100 Years

1965: Cathedral Church of the Holy Spirit, Guildford

Status: Listed Grade II*
Condition: Good condition
Type: Place of worship
Architect: Edward Maufe
Owners: Diocese of Guildford
Location: Stag Hill, Guildford, GU2 7UP

Guildford Cathedral was the only new build Anglican cathedral in England of the last 100 hundred years; Coventry replaced an existing one. It was won in competition in Edward Maufe in 1930 but WWII and its aftermath considerably delayed its completion. It was built to serve the Diocese of Guildford, newly created in 1927, covering most of Surrey and NE Hampshire. Its brown brick tower, atop a hill outside Guildford, is a landmark from far and near in the best tradition of medieval cathedrals.

What makes Guildford Cathedral special is the interior which combines his planning skills and collaboration with designers like Eric Gill, Vernon Hill (statuary), Moira Forsyth (stained glass) and his wife Prudence (on carpets and embroidered kneelers). There are recurring themes in all his churches: high roofs contrasting with low passage aisles; and strong contrasts of bare wall and colour in the form of fresco and heraldic design, all embodying the best of Swedish early 20th century design and arts and crafts traditions.

by Robert Drake

Listing description


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