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Description: Church of at Alban the Martyr
Date Listed: 25 April 1952
English Heritage Building ID: 217000
OS Grid Reference: SP0766485337
OS Grid Coordinates: 407664, 285337
Latitude/Longitude: 52.4659, -1.8886
Church of St Alban
SP 08 NE 7/25 25.4.52
1879-81 by J L Pearson. A large Early English style church of cruciform plan.
Red brick with ashlar dressings and some diaper work. Severe extension relying on
play of brick against stone except at west end. Very tall clerestory above aisles,
steep slated roofs, buttressed apsidal chancel. The west end is flanked by
buttressed turrets with stone spired, open lancet arcaded, caps. Shallow narthex,
doorway porch with multi shafted orders and applied gable against blind arcade
with quatrefoils above; the recessed plane with 3 centred arch contains trefoiled
rose window above lancet arcade. Pearson's south-west tower and its intended
spire, was hardly begun and the existing unsympathetic square plain tower with
hump back roof was completed 1938 by E F Reynolds. The interior is of course the
major feature of interest although the nave lacks length for the soaring
elevations and there is a cramping of proportions and space in relation to height.
Very narrow pointed arches to ambulatory arcading and broader but still steep ones
to the nave returned into transepts, the north are longer than the south. Shafting
to piers and shapely, richly moulded arcade arches. The principal shafts carried
the ribs of stone vaulting used throughout, particularly fine in chancel. Triforium
gallery passage with trefoil balustrade. Very tall fine 2 light clerestory windows.
The northern is quite deeply expressed internally with a canted 3 bay arcade allow-
ing shallow baptistry, and with gallery above but uncomfortably at lower level to
triforium. It is this feature which adds to the awkward shortness of the nave,
otherwise the elevational treatment is totally and convincingly consistent. The
south chapel window has freestanding shafts to very narrow lights. Light open
scroll work iron screen to chancel. Polychrome rood. The altar piece in the south
chapel is a painted triptych in copper panels, good Birmingham Arts and Crafts
work, by Kate and Myra Bunce, 1919. Stained glass in east window by Henry Payne,
otherwise clear or tinted leaded glass. Despite the weaknesses of the design the
quality of the interior finishes, the use of brick and stone, undoubtedly a
formative influence in the young Bidlake.
Listing NGR: SP0766485337
This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.