Birkdale - St Theresa of Avila

Everton Road, Birkdale, Southport PR8

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The church is a good example of its type, exhibiting an unusual plan and forming a group with the presbytery and school. The interior has fine spatial qualities and good stained glass.

The church was founded as an offshoot of St Joseph Birkdale (q.v.) by Canon Taylor. The land was given by the Scarisbrick Trustees.

See list description, below. This is good and fairly detailed. Points to note are that the description of the Presbytery exterior is wrongly headed church exterior. The church interior incorporates a chapel in the south transept with a carved stone reredos with a statue of St Teresa and altar. High altar and reredos with carvings of angels and the words Ecce Panis Angelorum. There is an unusually good scheme of nave glass by the Dublin firm Earley & Co., showing English martyrs and saints. The Hardman glass is generally later and of lesser quality. The sanctuary was remodelled probably about 1950, when it was panelled with marble. A late 20th  century reordering created a forward altar and ambo made from altar rails, etc.

LIST DESCRIPTION:

SOUTHPORT

SD31NW EVERTON ROAD, Birkdale

664-1/1/4 (East side) No.27

Roman Catholic Church of St Teresa of Avila, with attached presbytery (No.27) II

Roman Catholic church with attached presbytery. 1897 (dated 1897 on foundation stone in west gable of church) by Sinnott, Sinnott and Powell; slightly altered. Red brick with dressings of red sandstone and some buff terracotta, slate roofs.

STYLE: Early English.

CHURCH EXTERIOR AND PLAN: 2 elements in a single composition, with the presbytery linked to the north side of the nave by a short enclosed cloister. In Early English style, has an unusual concentric cruciform plan composed of a narrow nave opening out into broad full-height 2-bay aisles under hipped roofs, with a fleche over the crossing, a short gabled transept to each aisle, and the chancel forming the fourth arm of the cross. The nave, with a low sandstone rubble plinth and 2 bands of buff terracotta, has 2 lancets and a rose window in the west gable wall, all with hoodmoulds, and a steeply-pitched coped gable with an apex cross; its south side has a gabled porch to the first bay and 5 lancets which have hoodmoulds with carved stops. The protruding west angle of the south aisle has a doorway in its south face; and the gable of the transept to this has 2 lancets like those of the nave, and the east angle of the aisle has a similar lancet (there are no windows in the east walls of the transept, aisle or chancel). The gable of the north transept carries a bellcote.

CHURCH INTERIOR: very wide central space with 2-bay arcades to north and south, each with 2-centred arches on a cylindrical pier with carved foliated cap; 4 altars (one in the north aisle and 2 in the south, in addition to that in the chancel) each with a carved reredos. Good stained glass windows, one by Hardman of Birmingham.

PRESBYTERY PLAN: has a short south-east wing linked by a short single-storey range to the church, has an otherwise square plan (plus an added lean-to porch-cum- parlour along the south wall).

CHURCH EXTERIOR: 2 storeys and attic with a pyramidal roof, a 2-window west facade with a red terracotta string course, sandstone impost bands to both floors, and a sloped cornice of 5 corbelled courses (all carried round). The ground floor has a wooden canted bay window to the right, a 3-light mullioned window to the left with chamfered mullions and segmental-headed sashed lights which have glazing bars in the upper leaf; the upper floor has matching windows. The roof has a large 4-light attic dormer with a hipped roof and apex cross; and a cruciform chimney stack in the centre with corbelled cornice. The south side has simpler single-light windows.

Listing NGR: SD3349615763

Diocese: Liverpool

Architect: Sinnott, Sinnott & Powell

Original Date: 1897

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Grade II