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Church of St Agatha, Birmingham

Description: Church of St Agatha

Grade: I
Date Listed: 21 January 1970
English Heritage Building ID: 217658

OS Grid Reference: SP0866784778
OS Grid Coordinates: 408667, 284778
Latitude/Longitude: 52.4609, -1.8739

Location: Mole Street, Birmingham B5 7EP

Locality: Birmingham
County: Birmingham
Country: England
Postcode: B5 7EP

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Listing Text

5104 Highgate B11
Church of St Agatha
(formerly listed under
SF 08 SE 12/59 21.1.70
1899-1901 exaeptionally fine and original church by W E Bidlake dominated
by its great tower, in a Perpendicular style freely reinterpreted in an
Arts and Crafts idiom and of very fine workmanship. Fine quality red brick
with stone dressings. Aisles and clerestory. The west front with vestibule
porches to aisles flanking the magnificent lofty tower containing the low
baptistry apse at its foot. The tower has slender octagonal corner turrets
with their upper stages composed of red and white chequerwork surmounted
by open work turret/pinnacles crowned by lofty original wrought iron finials.
The stair turret on the south face also has an imaginatively designed top
stage and in carefully proportioned to emphasise the soaring scale of the
tower and the powerful belfry openings. Above the baptistry is a fine
sculptured sweeping frame work to the west tower window and equally inventive
sculptural and carved decoration enlivens the cambered stone arches and
jambs of the flanking vestibule doorways. The Gothic of the fenestration
to the aisles and clerestory is more conventional. The interior, restored
after the the war and thefire of 1957, is a remarkably sophisticated original
conception, faced in pale buff brick blending with the stone dressings.
The arcade hood moulds have Bidlake's typical finesse of detailing, almost
dying into the piers but with a scrolled curve carved over the vestigial
ribs of the pier, the latter is then carved up to divide the large clerestory
windows and terminating in richly and freely carved foliage corbels; the
timber ribs of the roof carrying on the lines of the masonry. The chancel's
pointed barrel vault is born by stone arches springing from very richly
carved corbels. The sophistication of the carving and quality of the moulded
detailing is consistent throughout. Bidlake's furnishings were destroyed
in the 1957 fire.

Listing NGR: SP0866884777

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.