Deepcar - St Anne

Haywood Lane, Deepcar, Sheffield, S36

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A small stone-built church in fourteenth century Gothic style by Hadfield & Goldie. The exterior retains much of its original character, but the interior has been much altered and extended in phases, with a major reordering in 1968. 

The nineteenth century expansion of terracotta works and ganister mines in Deepcar and Stocksbridge attracted Catholic workers, many of them Irish. In 1853, a group walked from Deepcar to St Vincent’s mission in Sheffield to request a priest to minister to their community. After this the Rev. Michael Burke, a Vincentian, made visits to Deepcar, enabled by the gift in 1856 of a horse from the Duke of Norfolk. Fr Burke sent Michael Dillon as a catechist to Deepcar, and in the late 1850s, he was able to acquire a plot of land on Haywood Lane, known as Limefield. Here a church was built to the designs of Hadfield & Goldie (figure 1), the builder being George Wade. The foundation stone was laid on the Feast of the Assumption (15 August) 1859 by Fr Burke, and in October of the same year St Ann’s (still incomplete) was blessed and informally opened by Fr Burke. Building was delayed due to a lack of funding, the shortfall being raised by Fr Burke’s fundraising visits to Dublin in 1860, enabling completion by the end of that year. The final cost was £616.

St Ann’s was served from St Vincent’s until 1875, when it passed to the Diocese of Beverley, with the Rev. Patrick Keating the first secular priest. In 1900, under the direction of the Rev. John Carr, a large stone presbytery was built (before this the priest had lived above the sacristy). 

The early appearance of the interior is shown at figure 2. After 1918, Deepcar’s Catholic population continued to grow, prompting Fr O’Shea to extend the church and improve facilities. A south aisle was built in 1921 from designs by Halton & Fox to commemorate the diamond jubilee of the parish. A parish hall followed in the late 1920s.

The church was radically reordered by John Black of Huddersfield in 1968, with the altar and sanctuary relocated from the east to the north side of the nave. A new forward altar, canopy and Blessed Sacrament shrine were introduced. The canopy and altar have subsequently been replaced and the altar rails removed. The entrance was relocated from the west end to the north side and a window inserted in the original entrance. Anthony Tranmer of John Rochford & Partner was later appointed to modify Black’s design; a wider and more open sanctuary was created on the north side with a central aisle to allow movement from all sides. 

The church was originally designed in a simple fourteenth century Gothic style by Hadfield & Goldie of Sheffield and opened in 1860. It is built of coursed sandstone with a chamfered plinth, and has a steeply-pitched Welsh slate roof. The church was originally built with the sanctuary orientated to the south, and in this account liturgical compass will be used that relate to the 1860 plan. This comprised a nave and sanctuary under one four-bay roof, with sacristy and priest’s quarters to the east in the form of a cross wing. Later additions include the south aisle of 1921 and a 1970s south porch. The gabled west end of the nave was originally the location for the main entrance; the two-light window in the pointed former doorway dates from the late 1960s, with a two-light pointed window with plate tracery above. The gable end is flanked by stepped buttresses, and has coped verges on kneelers with a cross finial.

The north side of the nave is lit by of four lancet windows. The stone-built south aisle was added by Halton & Fox in 1921, with two lancet windows, and a chamfered flat-headed doorway to the left.  The doorway towards the east end of the aisle is partially obscured by the more recent porch. At the east end is a two-storey cross range with coped verges, large stone ridge stack and windows in chamfered surrounds; this provided the priest’s quarters until the building of the presbytery in 1900. The north gable end of the east range has a three-light mullioned and transomed window with relieving arch at ground floor and a two-light mullioned window at first floor. The east elevation has an entrance flanked by two window openings and one window opening to the first floor. The south gable end is partially obscured by the later porch. The ridge of the main roof carries a timber-framed gabled bellcote, in a central position.

Internally, the south porch leads into the 1921 aisle; the upper part of the south nave wall has a flat soffit and is carried on a single cylindrical column. To the east end of the aisle is the Lady Chapel and confessional. The four-bay nave has an exposed roof of three braced collar trusses on stone corbels. A suspended ceiling was inserted as part of the 1960s changes, partially obscuring the full height of the roof trusses. Walls are plastered and the floor is covered with fitted carpet. The sanctuary and altar are now to the north side of the nave, with altar platform up one step, a canopy and red fabric to the reredos and the tabernacle to the right hand side. The striking tabernacle setting (figure 3) comprises a large circular wall panel of gold mosaic with a white mosaic border and surrounded by a black metal wreath of thorns, with the tabernacle in the centre, artist not established. The modern altar furnishings are of pine. Loose chairs in the nave provide flexible seating. The Stations of the Cross are of fibreglass in high relief. 

Diocese: Hallam

Architect: Hadfield & Goldie; Halton & Fox

Original Date: 1860

Conservation Area: No

Modifications: 1921

Listed Grade: Not listed