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Church of St Ignatius of Antioch, Salford

Description: Church of St Ignatius of Antioch

Grade: II
Date Listed: 24 October 2012
Building ID: 1408474

OS Grid Reference: SJ8185297735
OS Grid Coordinates: 381852, 397735
Latitude/Longitude: 53.4760, -2.2749

Locality: Salford
County: Salford
Postcode: M5 3PS

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Listing Text


Anglican church, 1900, by Darbyshire & Smith. Stock brick with pressed brick and terracotta dressings, slate and replaced concrete-tile roofs, Romanesque style.

Reason for Listing

The Church of St Ignatius of Antioch is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Architectural interest: it has a distinctive Romanesque design that is well articulated with richly detailed friezes, arcading, decorative tympanums, round-headed windows set within elegant surrounds, and elaborate west entrances;

* Architect: it was designed by the notable regional architect, Alfred Darbyshire, who has a number of listed buildings to his name;

* Interior: the interior continues the Romanesque styling and contains good quality features, fixtures and fittings, including polished granite and pink sandstone piers, glazed tile dados, a Caen stone and polished granite font, a carved timber reredos containing a painting of the Last Supper, and arcading in the chancel apse containing highly decorative mosaic work;

* Degree of survival: the church is little altered externally and although some internal alteration has taken place, this has not compromised the special character or interest of the building;

* Group value: it has a strong visual as well as contextual relationship with the nearby Salford Lads Club (1903-4, Grade II), with the two buildings forming a pair of landmark community buildings at the heart of the New Barracks Estate, Salford Corporation's first municipal housing scheme. Both buildings utilise red brick and terracotta in their construction, and share some complementary design characteristics; the church's tower and the club's cupola both acting as key skyline features within the locality.


The Church St Ignatius of Antioch was constructed in 1900 to the designs of Darbyshire & Smith. An attached rectory was added in 1904. Both buildings were constructed as part of the New Barracks Estate, Salford which was built between 1900-1904 on the site of a former early C19 infantry barracks. The estate was Salford Corporation's first housing scheme, and not only provided housing, but also community buildings, including Salford Girls' Institute (destroyed during WWII), Salford Lads' Club (1903, Grade II) and the Church of St Ignatius. These buildings were constructed on land owned by the Corporation, but were funded by private individuals; the Church of St Ignatius was built under the patronage of Wilbraham Egerton (1832-1909), 1st Earl Egerton and Viscount Salford.

In the 1990s the church's chancel was separated off internally from the main body of the building and worship was transferred to the chancel due to a dwindling congregation; the Church of St Ignatius became redundant in 2004. Graham Nash, original member of the pop group The Hollies, which was formed in Manchester in the early 1960s, is understood to have begun his musical career in the choir at the Church of St Ignatius.

Alfred Darbyshire (1839-1908) was born in Salford and trained as an architect under Peter Bradshaw Alley of Lane & Alley of Manchester, before establishing his own practice in 1862. Although Darbyshire designed and worked on many buildings during his career, including several buildings at Lyme Park, Cheshire for William Legh, he is best known as a theatrical architect, designing theatres in Manchester and Rawtenstall, Lancashire, as well as alterations and re-buildings of theatres in Manchester, London and Exeter. Darbyshire was joined in practice by Frederick Bennett Smith (1863-?), another former pupil of Alley, from c1885-1905. Alfred Darbyshire has at least 8 listed buildings to his name, that he either designed or worked on, including two that are also believed to have been carried out in conjunction with Smith: the Church of St Thomas of Canterbury (Grade II*, altered in the early 1890s by Darbyshire & Smith), and Knutsford Library (Grade II, 1904).


PLAN: the church is aligned north-west - south-east with a tall nave and lower side aisles under separate roofs, an apsidal chancel and a tall south-west tower. The following geographical references in the description of the church will be referred to in their ritual sense.

EXTERIOR: the church has continuous hoodmoulds to the windows and doors, and most elevations incorporate buttresses and cross finials. Some of the windows retain their original, diamond-patterned, leaded glazing. The chancel apse and tower retain their original slate roofs, whilst the remaining parts of the church have replaced concrete-tile roofs.

The church's west end faces St Ignatius Walk and consists of the nave's west gable end, which is flanked by lower, lean-to, side aisles; all incorporating Lombard friezes below the eaves. The nave's east gable end also incorporates a Lombard frieze, but is largely hidden from view by the chancel. The west entrance projects slightly under a gable and comprises an arched, terracotta surround of three orders with a carved tympanum depicting peacocks, which symbolise eternal life, and a recessed door. Above are three, tall windows incorporating paired, round-headed lights separated by half-columns with worn, carved capitals and roundels above, all set within arched surrounds; that to the centre is raised slightly so that it rises above the gabled entrance. Set to the nave's gable apex is a much smaller version of the west windows with a plain central mullion. The side aisles are lit by large, similarly styled, round-headed windows with plain mullions, which are also replicated to the church's side chapels at the east end. Due to the in-filling of much of a yard area to the south side of the church, which formerly separated the church from the rectory, some of the south aisle's windows on this side have been blocked-up, and one has been converted into a doorway accessing the later extension.

Attached to the right of the south side-aisle is a tall, four-stage, south-west tower with the upper stages separated by cornices. The tower has a west entrance, which is similarly styled to that to the nave, but with the addition of a terracotta roundel containing a Canterbury-style cross. The tower's second stage incorporates a single round-headed window to each face, whilst the third stage has paired windows set within shared arched surrounds incorporating raised brickwork tympanums. The belfry has triple-arched openings to each face with a Lombard frieze below the eaves. The whole is topped by a pyramidal slate roof surmounted by a cross finial. Attached to the south side of the tower is the 1904 rectory, which is not of special interest and is excluded from the listing.

The church's five-bay nave has a clerestory formed by triple-light, round-headed windows with the continuous hoodmoulds giving the appearance of arcading. The chancel has a near full-height, semi-circular apse lit by round-headed windows incorporating paired lights separated by half-columns with stiff-leaf capitals and with roundels to the centre above, all set within arched surrounds. Flanking the chancel, and set at a right angle to it, are small, side chapels. Attached to the south side-chapel is a vestry, which is lower in height and is lit by small, round-headed windows to the east wall and two windows in the same style as those to the side chapels to the south gable end. Beneath is a full basement.

INTERIOR: internally the church contains quarry tile, parquet and floorboard floors. The walls are mostly plastered with a brown glazed-tile dado to the nave and side aisles.

Plaster has been removed from the walls of the tower entrance, leaving exposed brick. The entrance has painted, diagonal rib-vaulting to the ceiling with a central carved boss, above which is the timber floor of the tower room above. The tower's stone spiral stair (the upper floors were not inspected) is accessed by a door in the south-west corner. An adjacent, recessed doorway provides access into the former rectory (excluded from the listing); both have cast-iron lintels. A wide, round-headed opening to the east wall of the tower entrance accesses a semi-circular apsidal recess, which is lit by three round-headed windows and forms the baptistery. The baptistery contains a Caen stone font with a polished granite shaft. A carved, terracotta, round-headed opening with later inserted doors provides access into the main body of the church.

The nave roof is panelled and incorporates a series of queen-post, arched-braced roof trusses. Five-bay, round-headed nave arcades are supported by pink sandstone nave piers with carved cushion capitals and tall bases. The easternmost bays on each side have been bricked-up (1990s) and the chancel arch has been sealed off in order to separate the chancel. A brick wall has also been inserted at the east end of the south side-aisle, creating a lobby area by the south side-chapel entrance. The clerestory windows are arcaded with red sandstone columns that are similarly styled to the nave piers.

Both side aisles have king-post trusses supported by stone and timber corbels with curved angle braces. The surviving part of the top section of the church's pulpit has been placed at the west end of the aisle. At the east end of the north side-aisle is an internal terracotta window incorporating round-headed lights and a roundel; behind which is the north side-chapel. One of the windows in the south side-aisle has been converted into a doorway, which accesses the parish rooms, including a kitchen, and the rectory; all of which are not of special interest.

The two-bay chancel, like the nave, also has a panelled roof incorporating trusses and has arcade piers of polished red granite with pink sandstone bases and capitals. In front of the altar apse are timber and wrought-iron (partly gilded) altar rails incorporating foliage decoration. The semi-circular apse has a half-domed ceiling, which is painted blue with gold stars. The three east windows retain their original leaded glazing incorporating some stained glass, including Christian monograms and symbols. Running around the apse wall beneath the windows is a red sandstone and polished granite arcade with coloured and gilded mosaics by Jabez Thompson of Northwich depicting vases of varying design containing lilies, surmounted by a panel of green glazed-tiles. Attached to the centre of the apse wall is a carved timber reredos containing a painted panel depicting the Last Supper, which is said to have been painted by Nancy Mitford (not believed to be the same as the well-known author of the inter-war years). A plain, free-standing, timber altar lies in front. The side chapels have scissor-rafter roofs; that to the south side incorporates a First World War memorial timber screen attached to its south wall. A doorway leads into the vestry, which is plain.

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.