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Roman Catholic Church of St Peter and St Paul, Presbytery and Salter's Hall

A Grade II Listed Building in Newport, Telford and Wrekin

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.7699 / 52°46'11"N

Longitude: -2.3836 / 2°23'0"W

OS Eastings: 374216

OS Northings: 319215

OS Grid: SJ742192

Mapcode National: GBR 7Z.YHKF

Mapcode Global: WH9CR.CM6W

Entry Name: Roman Catholic Church of St Peter and St Paul, Presbytery and Salter's Hall

Listing Date: 29 June 1978

Last Amended: 25 February 2014

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1188022

English Heritage Legacy ID: 255439

Location: Newport, Telford and Wrekin, TF10

County: Telford and Wrekin

Civil Parish: Newport

Built-Up Area: Newport (Telford and Wrekin) B

Traditional County: Shropshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Shropshire

Church of England Parish: Newport St Nicholas

Church of England Diocese: Lichfield

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Summary

Roman Catholic church and presbytery containing remnants of Salter's Hall. Church 1832 by Joseph Potter of Lichfield, funded by the sixteenth Earl of Shrewsbury. West porch and baptistery 1913. Presbytery rebuilt and enlarged c1832 and incorporating C17 remnants of Salter's Hall. Early English Gothic style. Red brick with sandstone dressings and small, brown tiles.

Description

Roman Catholic church and presbytery containing remnants of Salter's Hall. Church 1832 by Joseph Potter of Lichfield, funded by the sixteenth Earl of Shrewsbury. West porch and baptistery 1913. Presbytery rebuilt and enlarged c1832 and incorporating C17 remnants of Salter's Hall. Early English Gothic style. Red brick with sandstone dressings and small, brown tiles.

PLAN: whilst aligned with the sanctuary facing approximately west, liturgical compass points will be used in the description of the church. A rectangular, five-bay building with a sanctuary in the eastern bay and a gallery in the western nave, a west porch and baptistery. The church is attached to a two-storey and attic, four-bay presbytery on the geographical south side.

EXTERIOR: the church and presbytery are built of red brick in Flemish bond with stone dressings, brick plinths with stone coping and moulded stone eaves coping and eaves cornices. The buildings are set back from the road and the front elevation faces east with a unified composition incorporating the presbytery to the left and the liturgical west end of the church to the right. The tall gable wall of the church is balanced by a gabled outer bay to the presbytery, both flanking three central bays with small gablets. At the apex of the church gable is a small, stone bellcote. A brick buttress separates the church from the house, though the brickwork courses through across the elevation. On the ground floor is a projecting triple-gabled porch with a central pointed-arch doorway with a moulded stone surround and hood mould and timber double doors. In the apex of the gable is a small circular window with cross tracery and flanking the doorway are two canopied statue niches with statues of St Peter and St Paul. The two outer gables are mirror-images, each with an outer buttress, a four-light, pointed-arch window, and a mandorla window with tracery in the apex of the gable. The windows have small-pane leaded glazing. In the centre of the main west wall of the church is a large rose window with Decorated Gothic tracery. At the apex of the gable is a canopied statue niche containing a statue of Mary and the Baby Jesus. The presbytery has a gable stack and two ridge stacks, all with tall, octagonal Tudor-style chimneys. The third bay has a Tudor-arched doorway with a stone surround and hood mould, and a reinforced timber door with vertical nailed battens. On the ground floor the second and fourth bays have three-light windows with square-headed stone hood moulds, stone frames and slender mullions and pointed-arch heads to the lights. The first bay has a similar, two-light window. The first floor has similar, two-light windows in all four bays The first-bay gable and the gablets in the second, third, and fourth bays have small pointed-arch lancet windows in stone frames.

The liturgical south elevation of the church (geographical north) is of five bays divided by brick buttresses. Each bay has a tall, pointed-arch lancet with stone frame and a hood mould. The liturgical east end is blind. The liturgical north elevation is largely obscured by the presbytery. At the right-hand end is a single tall, pointed-arch lancet, with a pointed-arch doorway situated within the timber corner conservatory. The rear elevation of the presbytery has a wide, slightly-projecting gabled third bay, with a combination of similar windows as the front elevation. The ground floor of the first and second bays is obscured by the conservatory. The conservatory on brick dwarf walls is timber with a lean-to roof and a wide gabled doorway onto the garden. It incorporates stained glass panels, a date panel of 1884, the initials I R, and a metal sunflower finial. The structure is in poor repair with some of the glass panels replaced by plastic sheeting. The south side elevation of the presbytery has two gables and similar windows.

INTERIOR: the church has full-span arched timber trusses rising from corbels with a coffered ceiling of square panels. The trusses are decoratively painted and the coffered panels are painted green and red with gold decoration over the sanctuary. The nave has herringbone parquet flooring, with decorative encaustic tiles in the sanctuary and set in the uprights of the stepped stone plinth upon which the altar stands. The walls are plastered and painted white except for the sanctuary bay, which has colourful stencilling to the dado in the manner of A W N Pugin. The sanctuary has a tall, shallow, pointed-arch niche with a moulded surround flanked by two smaller niches with moulded surrounds and hood moulds over. The niches are decorated with colourful stencilwork and gilding. The central niche has a large painting of Christ on the Cross in an elaborate Gothic gilded frame, with a tabernacle shelf beneath. The flanking niches have statues of Mary and the Baby Jesus and St Joseph. The front panel of the high altar is decorated in geometric patterns with religious motifs in the manner of cloisonné enamel in red, green, cream, blue and gold, and bears similarities with altars designed by Pugin. On the north side of the sanctuary is an aumbry with a marble surround and a relief-carved door with a Gothic canopy over. The single north sanctuary window and four of the windows in the south wall have stained glass of standing saints designed by Margaret Rope in 1912-18. Towards the west end of the south wall is a memorial designed in a medieval manner with two slightly sunken panels with an overlying Gothic frame forming two arches, with painted relief carvings of Mary and Baby Jesus and a kneeling woman praying. At the west end of the nave is a timber gallery with a pierced front panel with Gothic detailing. The original pointed-arch west entrance doorway now opens into the porch. To its left is a statue niche, and to its right is a wide archway with half-height decorative iron gates opening into the baptistery . The baptistery has herringbone parquet flooring and an octagonal stone font with Gothic quatrefoil carving. There is a three-light window between the baptistery and the porch. The porch has an inner, pointed-archway with a moulded stone surround and hood moulding leading through to the original west doorway. On the right-hand side of the porch is a wide archway opening into a small room.

The presbytery is said to contain features surviving from the C17 Salter's Hall, though other than some exposed ceiling beams, the fixtures and fittings are C19. They include a Tudor-arched mantelpiece on the ground floor and a timber staircase with turned balusters and square newel posts with shaped finials.

History

A Catholic mission was established in the C16 at Longford Hall, home of the Talbot family, Earls of Shrewsbury. Upon the sale of the house in 1789 the family chaplain was provided with a new residence in the C17 Salter's Hall in Newport. Salter's Hall was apparently named after Sir John Salter, Lord Chief Justice of North Wales and Sheriff of Shropshire, who had a house on the site in the C15. After the Act of Emancipation in 1829 plans were drawn up to significantly rebuilt and enlarge the house in a Tudor style and build a church adjoining it. The church's construction in 1832 was funded by John Talbot, sixteenth Earl of Shrewsbury. Though the Earl of Shrewsbury was A W N Pugin's patron, the Newport church was designed by the architect Joseph Potter of Lichfield. Potter was apparently a Catholic himself and had worked for James Wyatt as clerk of works in the restoration of Lichfield Cathedral, later becoming the cathedral architect, as well as county surveyor of Staffordshire and running a successful private practice. Although Pugin did not design the church, he is recorded as having carried out unspecified alterations and repairs in 1838 and 1840. These alterations may well have been in the sanctuary where the wall decoration and the high altar bear similarities to decorative schemes and fixtures and fittings elsewhere known to have been designed by him.

The Catholic Hierarchy re-established territorial bishops in 1850 and subsequently James Brown, the first Bishop of Shrewsbury, lived in the presbytery from 1851 until he moved to Shrewsbury in 1868. In the same year a school, funded by the Bishop, was built and an infant school was added in 1878, today both are used as a parish hall.

In 1884 a timber conservatory was built in the return between the liturgical north elevation of the church and rear elevation of the presbytery to enable the priest to have covered passage between the two. Later, in 1902, the church was renovated by Father C Giles, and it was finally consecrated in 1906. The new west porch and baptistery were built in 1913, and the west rose window replaced the original three lancet windows in 1920. The stencilling to the sanctuary walls was restored in C21 following investigation into the original decorative scheme.

Reasons for Listing

The Roman Catholic Church of St Peter and St Paul, Newport, of 1832 by Joseph Potter of Lichfield, with a west porch and baptistery of 1913, and presbytery of c1832 incorporating C17 remnants of Salter's Hall are listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Historic interest: as a good example of an early-C19 Roman Catholic church with an attached contemporary presbytery which also retains remnants of a C17 hall;
* Architectural interest: the simple Gothic detailing of the church is typical of early-C19 Gothic prior to the rigorous adherence to medieval precedents advocated by A W N Pugin which was to subsequently influence both Catholic and Anglican church design;
* Architect: SS Peter and Paul was designed by Joseph Potter of Lichfield, a successful Catholic architect who held the post of architect to Lichfield Cathedral as well as running a successful private practice, and is likely to have also designed the attached presbytery as the two form a unified composition;
* Interior: though the church was not designed by A W N Pugin, it is likely that he designed the decoration and furnishing of the intricately coloured and stencilled sanctuary with a high altar with richly-coloured front panel in the manner of cloisonné enamel
* Artistic interest: five of the tall, lancet windows have exquisitely detailed designs of standing saints designed in 1912-18 in the Arts and Crafts manner by the accomplished stained glass artist Margaret Agnes Rope, a highly devout woman who joined the Carmelite Order in 1923 but continued to design stained glass for religious settings

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