Aintree - Blessed Sacrament

Walton Vale, Aintree, Liverpool 9

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Edmund Kirby was the architect of many Catholic churches in the North West  and  Blessed  Sacrament  is  a  competent  exercise  in  the  Early English style which Kirby favoured. The church is a prominent building in the area.

In 1872 Bishop Goss asked Father J.P. Nugent to begin a mission between Kirkdale Ford and Gilmoss. At first Mass was said in a converted barn. The foundation stone of a new church was laid in July 1876 and the building opened in June 1878.  Schools were built in 1880/1.  In 1941 the church sustained some bomb damage. Temporary repairs were made in 1946 and a fuller restoration and enlargement carried out later under Canon Ormsby, who also beautified the church grounds.

A  tall  church  in  13th   century  Early  English  Gothic  style  dating  from  1878,  faced entirely in buff quarry-faced sandstone with sandstone dressings and roof coverings of Welsh slate.  The building has nave and sanctuary under one long roof, with lean- to aisles on both sides and a transeptal sacristy at the liturgical southeast corner; the south aisle has been enlarged. West end wall with central arched doorway under a small. projecting porch, four tall lancet windows over and a traceried rose window in the tall gable; the western ends of both aisles have stepped triple lancet windows. The aisles have single lancet windows, the nave clerestorey has small paired windows. The east wall rises sheer to a large rose window in the gable; the north aisle east wall has a three-light window with plate tracery, on the south side is the transeptal sanctuary. 

The interior has five bay nave arcades  of  moulded  pointed  arches  on cylindrical marble columns with naturalistic floral capitals; modern west gallery with organ and enclosed  narthex space beneath.  The nave has a canted  timber  roof with braced principals and timber wall-shafts; the lean-to aisle roofs have exposed timber rafters. The south aisle has been widened for most of its length, presumably as part of the post-war restoration, and the original outer wall has been replaced by modern cylindrical columns. Most of the windows in the side walls are clear-glazed, with stained glass in the east and west windows. There is no structural division between nave and sanctuary, but the arches in the side walls of the single bay sanctuary are carried down to the floor and open into the side chapels. Elaborate carved reredos on east wall; sanctuary re-ordered (?1980s) with chunky new altars; southeast chapel with marble reredos and stained glass by Hardman (1949). The glass in the east rose window may be by the Early Studio.

Diocese: Liverpool

Architect: Edmund Kirby

Original Date: 1876

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not listed