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Former Church of Saint Catherine, Whitchurch Urban

Description: Former Church of Saint Catherine

Grade: II
Date Listed: 1 May 1951
English Heritage Building ID: 260615

OS Grid Reference: SJ5430341227
OS Grid Coordinates: 354303, 341227
Latitude/Longitude: 52.9665, -2.6818

Location: B5398, Whitchurch, Shropshire SY13 1EN

Locality: Whitchurch Urban
County: Shropshire
Country: England
Postcode: SY13 1EN

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Listing Text

SJ 5441
8/61 Former Church of Saint
1.5.51 Catherine

Chapel of ease, now builder's store. Dated 1836. Red brick, with front
faced in brown/grey sandstone ashlar. Graded slate roof. 5-bay nave
with short chancel, transepts at west end, and integral (liturgical) west tower.
In a neo-classical style. West front: plinth, Tuscan pilasters
supporting full entablature. 5-bays treated as central 3-bay temple
front with pediment flanked by slightly-recessed single-bay wings,
sides of which are treated as end temple fronts. Central projecting
portico in antis with 2 unfluted Ionic columns and Tuscan antae. Broken
attic over. Tall small-paned cast-iron windows with lugged moulded
architraves. Central pair of 8-panelled doors (lower panels beaded
flush and upper panels with vents) with stone doorcase consisting of tall
unfluted Tuscan pilasters supporting entablature and cornice, with blocking
course above, raised and projecting to centre with canted top. Half-H
panel datestone above door with superscribed lettering: "MDCCCXXXVI".
Central 2-stage tower rising out of pediment. Square lower stage with
moulded cornice and blocking course. Octagonal lantern to top stage
(of alternating long and short sides) with Tuscan antae supporting full
entablature and low pyramidal cap. Lower stage with circular clock to
front, louvred occuli to sides and carved coat of arms (Bridgewater Arms)
at base to front. Nave with plinth, brick band beneath eaves, and stone
coped parapeted gable end with acroterion at apex. Small-paned cast-iron
windows with stone cills and gauged-brick heads. Chancel with raised
eaves band and hipped roof. Venetian east window, devoid of ornament.
Interior: partly stripped and gutted since redundancy. Vestibule
beneath tower with round arches to west transepts and into nave. Gallery
staircase in north transept with single-fluted stick balusters and curved
handrail. Pair of large doors into nave, each with 8 flush panels. Nave:
moulded cornice. Panelled plaster ceiling with egg and dart enrichment to
cased beams, and plaster roses to central panels. Console brackets with
acanthus ornament (removed on north wall). Gallery at west end, flanking
organ. Small chancel flanked by Tuscan antae with anthemion and palmette
ornament to capitals and supporting full entablature with wreaths and egg
and dart enrichment to frieze. Interior of chancel with dado panelling
and moulded cornice. Venetian east window with antae, entablature and
moulded architrave to centre light. Some fittings remain. 2 steps up to
chancel and wrought-iron altar rails with wooden rail. Early C19 wooden
reredos with 4 panels, the central 2 panels with painted inscriptions:
"I AM / THE BREAD / OF LIFE" (right-hand) and "I AM / THE TRUE / VINE"
(right-hand), and the Lord's Prayer and Creed on the outer left- and right-
hand panels respectively. Early C19 square wooden pulpit with raised and
fielded panels to sides, Greek Doric corner columns, square tester with
moulded cornice, and flight of wooden steps with closed string, stick
balusters and columnular newels. In separate parts at time of survey
(November 1986). Organ of c.1836 in west gallery. The early C19 Ionic
lectern formerly in this church is now in the Church of Saint Alkmund,
Church Street (q.v.). The tower clock (not working at time of survey)
is said to be the oldest surving Joyce (the famous Whitchurch clockmakers)
clock in England. Much of the walls were stripped of plaster at the time
of survey, revealing early C19 building techniques, such as the round
arches with flush stone keystones, and the wooden slips inserted around
doors and windows on to which architraves and other ornament are fixed.
The widow of the seventh Earl of Bridgewater was the patroness of the
church. The church is so aligned that the liturgical east end is to
the west. This description refers only to liturgical east, west. etc.
B.O.E., p. 314; D.H.S. Cranage, An Architectural Account of the Churches
of Shropshire, Part 8, p. 674.

Listing NGR: SJ5430341227

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.