St Dominic's Priory Church

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Church of Our Lady of the Rosary and St Dominic
File:Flag of the Vatican City.svg
LocationLondon, NW5
CountryUnited Kingdom
DedicationOur Lady of the Rosary and St Dominic
Heritage designationGrade II*
Architect(s)Gilbert Blount and Charles Alban Buckler
MaterialsBrick, stone and marble
ArchbishopVincent Nichols
PriorVery Rev. Lawrence Lew OP [1]

St Dominic's Priory Church[2] (formally named "Our Lady of the Rosary and St Dominic") is one of the largest Catholic churches in London. The church is Grade II* listed building on the National Heritage List for England.[3] It has been served by the Order of Preachers (Dominicans) since 1861, the community living in the adjacent Priory. In October 2016, the church was solemnly inaugurated by the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, as a diocesan shrine, with a designated mission of promoting the Rosary.[4]


The church and priory are in Southampton Road just south of Hampstead Heath and close to Belsize Park. The nearest stations are Belsize Park and Chalk Farm tube stations both on the Northern line Edgware branch, and Hampstead Heath railway station and Gospel Oak railway stations on London Overground, all about 15 minutes walk away.


The Dominican Friars came to the area in 1861 with a community of Friars in the Priory, a community of Dominican Sisters nearby in Constantine Road and a group of Lay Dominicans who meet each month at the Priory.

The priory was opened in 1867 and the Priory Church dates from 1883. The church was opened largely thanks to Countess Tasker, its great benefactress. The road leading down to the Priory (Tasker Road) was named in her memory.

In 1900 a pillar from the chapter house of the London Black Friars (the medieval predecessor of St Dominic's Priory) was discovered during archaeological work in Blackfriars and was removed to the east end of St Dominic's church.[5]

The Priory Church is still named Our Lady of the Rosary and Saint Dominic, as the current notice board makes clear. During the 1990s the Traditional Catholic Mass (in the Roman Rite, rather than the Dominican Rite) was re-established at St. Dominic's at 11.15 am every Sunday. This was by request of the late Cardinal Hume. It was supported every Sunday by 100 or more people, including choir and servers.

The tablet to the soldiers from the parish who died in World War I.

Two memorials in the church commemorate individuals who were killed in World War I. A large stone tablet by the main door to the church lists the names of soldiers from the area who died in the war. It is made from a large block of stone from a quarry from the French battlefields and was unveiled in 1921. The lettering of the tablet was carved by Eric Gill.[6] A sculpted stone statue of Joan of Arc by the Rosary Chapel marks the death of a soldier killed at Ypres in 1915.[7]

The memorial to a soldier killed at Ypres in 1915.


The design is based on the structure of the Rosary prayer. It was built by Charles Alban Buckler (1824-1905), the son of John Chessell Buckler who designed numerous churches of which this was probably his best.[8]


Both friars and sisters serve a large parish community, with a weekend attendance of about 900 men, women and children. Friars and sisters are also engaged in a wide range of local social activity including hospital, university and school chaplaincy, adult education and third level teaching of theology, scripture and philosophy, publishing, post-graduate study, and preaching. It is also the residence of the Provincial of the Dominican friars in England and Scotland. Next to the church is the Catholic primary school of St Dominic.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Prior is Very Parish and Priory Website, accessed 11th November 2020.
  2. ^ St Dominic's Priory official website
  3. ^ Historic England, "ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIORY CHURCH OF ST DOMINIC (1378775)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 18 June 2017
  4. ^ "New Rosary Shrine Inaugurated". October 22, 2016. Retrieved September 23, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ Holder, Nick (2017). The Friaries of Medieval London: From Foundation to Dissolution. Woodbridge: Boydell. pp. 215, 219. ISBN 9781783272242.
  6. ^ War Memorial: Priory of Our Lady of the Rosary and St Dominic - WW1 Tablet (WMR-58341): War Memorial: Priory of Our Lady of the Rosary and St Dominic - WW1 Tablet (WMR-58341), accessdate: August 14, 2017
  7. ^ War Memorial: A Soldier Killed at Ypres - WW1 Tablet (WMR-58341): War Memorial: A Soldier Killed at Ypres - WW1 Tablet (WMR-60510), accessdate: August 14, 2017
  8. ^ Oxford Dictionary of Architecture, p123, accessed 4 March 2016

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°33′03″N 0°09′26″W / 51.5508°N 0.1572°W / 51.5508; -0.1572