Categories of Special Interest
Architectural Artistic Social
Saint Mary's Roman Catholic Church
In Use As
1800 - 1820
Freestanding cruciform-plan gable-fronted Roman Catholic church, built between 1808-21, with sacristy added in 1898. Rebuilding occurred in 1929 and roof raised in 1932. Church comprising three-bay nave having canted gable-fronted end-bays to nave, single-bay transepts and with lower sacristy with addition to south elevation. Pitched slate roof with pointed arch openwork bellcote to gable-front, having render cross finial, and render bracketed eaves course. Pitched slate roof to sacristy with painted brick chimneystack. Roughcast rendered walls with rendered buttresses. Pointed arch openings having render hoodmouldings, limestone sills and stained-glass windows throughout. Pointed arch opening to north elevation with chamfered limestone surround, Y-tracery stained glass window and render hoodmoulding. Pointed arch opening to north elevation with chamfered limestone surround, render hoodmoulding and glazed overlight over double-leaf timber panelled doors having flanking limestone fonts. Pointed arch openings to transepts with render hoodmouldings and glazed overlights over timber battened doors. Square-headed opening to sacristy having glazed overlight over timber battened door. Quadripartite rib vaults to interior having rosettes and foliate corbels. Timber galleries with recessed pointed arch blind arcade. Pedimented canopy to altar having fluted Corinthian style columns and marble reredos. Square-headed openings to altar wall with ornate timber panelled doors. Marble railings to altar. Rubble limestone boundary walls terminating in square-profile piers to site.
This Roman Catholic church is a notable example of the Gothic Revival style. It was rebuilt between 1929, with the addition of the baptistry and chancel in 1932, all of this later work carried out by the architect Ralph Henry Byrne. The coherence of the decorative theme is evident through the use of pointed arch window openings and bellcote, while the interesting canted end bays display an innovative interpretation of the style. The interior is especially rich in decoration, having well made quadripartite rib vaults and decorative marble fittings. The church forms a striking feature in the landscape and is a notable example of its type.