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Bloomsbury Project

Bloomsbury Institutions


Polish Catholic Chapel


It was opened in 1869 by Polish exiles in London as a place of worship, together with a library and meeting rooms (Józef Gula, The Roman Catholic Church in the History of the Polish Exiled Community in Great Britain, 1993)

Its original minister was the Rev. Emeric Podolski

A funeral mass was celebrated there in 1870 to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of the Polish war against Russia and those who died in it and subsequent struggles (The Times, 30 November 1870)

One Polish priest survived an assassination attempt made while he was celebrating Mass at a chapel in Hatton Wall; this chapel was subsequently closed (The Times, 12 January 1880; 2 September 1880)

It no longer exists

What was reforming about it?

It was a haven for Polish refugees in London at a dangerous time

Where in Bloomsbury

It occupied two floors of 110 Gower Street (Darwin’s former home) from 1869 until at least the 1880s

Website of current institution

It no longer exists

Books about it

None found


There may be relevant records in the archives of the Catholic diocese of Westminster, but this was a largely uncatalogued resource at the beginning of the twenty-first century

Information about this archive can be found via the website of the Catholic diocese of Westminster (opens in new window)

This page last modified 13 April, 2011 by Deborah Colville


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