Presbytery and parish hall, formerly priest's house with chapel to the rear. 1769 with later alterations. Sandstone and brick with small tiles to roofs. The modern lean-to extension built against the west gable wall of the house is not of special architectural or historic interest and is excluded from the listing.
Reason for Listing
The presbytery, formerly a priest's house incorporating a rear chapel, of 1769, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Historic interest: the presbytery is a very rare survivor of a house and chapel purpose-built for Catholic worship prior to the first Catholic Reform Act of 1778 when public Catholic worship was still illegal;
* Plan form: the building remains readable as a house with an attached chapel discreetly placed to the rear so as not to draw attention, as was typical for a Catholic place of worship in the C18.
In 1676 there were 51 adult 'papists' recorded as living in Madeley, more than anywhere else in Shropshire, and as such it is sometimes referred to as 'the mother mission of Shropshire'. During this period there was an unlicensed Catholic school and a Mass centre at Madeley Court, home of the recusant Brooke family. In 1760 another recusant family, the Giffards, donated a plot of land on the High Street, and in 1769 a house incorporating a chapel at the rear was built despite the opposition of the local vicar. Constructed with funds given by wealthy Catholics, including the Duke of Norfolk, the building cost approximately £500. It originally seated 200, although by 1851 there were 400 sittings, and 500 attended Sunday services.
In 1849 Father W Molloy led efforts to build a new and larger church which anticipated further expansion. On 21 April 1852 the foundation stone was laid of an ambitious new church designed by Joseph Aloysius Hansom. Hansom is a noted Catholic architect who worked briefly in partnership with E W Pugin, and also both independently and with family relatives. As well as designing ecclesiastical architecture he designed the Classical Town Hall of Birmingham, founded 'The Builder' journal, and invented the Hansom cab. The church was opened on 18 August 1853. It had a wide nave flanked by full-length aisles and was intended to seat 500. The intention was to also build a sanctuary and a west tower, but this was not realised and the chancel and tower arches remained blocked up.
The original house and chapel were put to a variety of uses. In September 1882 it briefly housed Missionaries of the Sacred Heart from Issoudin, France. From 1889 Madeley was served from Shifnal, and from 1891 the house was rented out as a boarding school for young ladies. The school was short-lived, but the house did not become the priest's house again until 1969. By the 1990s the building was in a state of dereliction. A scheme of adaptation saw the former chapel split in two by the insertion of a floor with the ground floor used as parish rooms, while the house is presently in use as the presbytery.
Presbytery and parish hall, formerly priest's house with chapel to the rear. 1769 with later alterations. Sandstone and brick with small tiles to roofs.
PLAN: two-storey presbytery with double-height former chapel attached to rear, north side, now with inserted floor and used as parish rooms.
EXTERIOR: the original front elevation of the house faces east and is of two storeys and three bays with modern rendering, a moulded stone eaves cornice, and a hipped, tiled roof. The central doorway has been altered to form a square window and all the windows have modern window frames. The south elevation faces the road and except for a vertical strip of render to the right-hand, south-east corner is of large shaped and tooled stone blocks in regular courses with a brick dentil eaves cornice. The roof is pitched at the left-hand end and hipped at the right-hand end. A large brick stack rises left of centre from the eaves. The present irregularly spaced windows are later insertions with concrete lintels. Shaped stones within the stonework suggest that there were previously other windows on the first floor. The central doorway has a modern door. Built against the left-hand, corner is a modern, single-storey, lean-to extension built of roughly coursed rubblestone with a window with a concrete lintel and modern frame. Projecting to the rear of the extension is the south elevation of the former chapel, which is the same height as the house. It is built of hand-made bricks in Flemish bond with a brick dentil eaves cornice and pitched tiled roof. The west gable wall of the house is also built of large shaped and tooled stone blocks in regular courses. The ground-floor level and part of the first floor level with a blocked window are obscured by the modern, lean-to extension. An attic window above has been altered to insert a modern window frame and a narrow window has been inserted to the left. To the left of the house the west gable of the former chapel projects. The wall is built of roughly coursed rubblestone with the brickwork of the south elevation wrapping round the south-west corner. A central doorway with a concrete lintel is a modern insertion as is the round-headed window over. Rough straight joints suggest that there was originally a horizontal rectangular window in the gable apex. The north elevation of the former chapel is built of roughly coursed rubblestone with a brick dentil eaves cornice and a tiled roof which is hipped at the left-hand end and pitched at the right-hand end. The north-east corner has a narrow strip of render. Set towards the centre and right-hand side are two large rectangular windows with concrete lintels and small pane window frames. The right-hand window has been shortened to allow a doorway to be inserted underneath. There is a temporary timber shelter set against the windows.
INTERIOR: the internal layout of the house has been altered, with the front door moved from the east elevation to the south elevation and doorways correspondingly blocked and corridors formed. On the first floor the ceilings in the front bedrooms have been lowered, though the upper part of the walls, with picture rails, are still visible in the attic. There are apparently no original fixtures or fittings of interest. The roof structure has been altered with many timbers later insertions. The former chapel has had a floor inserted with a narrow staircase in the north-west corner. There are no original fixtures or fittings of interest.
EXCLUSIONS: the modern lean-to extension built against the west gable wall of the house is not of special architectural or historic interest and is excluded from the listing.
Pursuant to s.1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 ('the Act') it is declared that the modern floor inserted into the former chapel and the staircase accessing it are not of special architectural or historic interest.
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.