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St. Joseph’s Church

The current site was occupied on September 29th 1858, the first Mass in Highgate since 1849 was said and work was to begin on the alteration of the original site, a public house, to a more spiritual purpose as the home of the community.

As the Catholic community grew rapidly, partly because of the Catholic Navvies in Upper Holloway, partly through Father Ignatius’s efforts in scouring the countryside for miles around reconverting lapsed Catholics that he encountered, so the chapel formed in the entrance hall off the old inn became too small.

By May 1859 foundations were being laid for a chapel behind the inn but a builders strike in London caused a delay which allowed a much larger chapel to be constructed, work commenced in January 1860 and was completed by 25 April 1861. Where did the money for this come from? Certainly not the parishioners. It was clear that the parish was growing rapidly and so a building was needed which would be large enough to accommodate the future needs rather than the current needs.

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St Joseph's Church, Highgate