Backworth - Our Lady and St Edmund

Station Road, Backworth, Newcastle upon Tyne NE27

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A modest basilican design of the post-war years.

Backworth was a significant coal-mining community with farms around it and later twentieth-century housing estates. Since the collieries closed there has been no single dominant industry. The mission was founded in 1883 from Annitsford, and became independent in 1900.  In 1903 a church and school was built from designs by Charles Walker, on land acquired from the Duke of Northumberland by Fr Henry Walmsley. This was replaced by the present church in 1954, built along with the slightly earlier presbytery) from designs by Robert Burke (plans in Tyne & Wear Archives). 

A modest building in a sub-Romanesque basilican style, of red brick laid in English garden wall bond, with artificial stone dressings; all windows have projecting surrounds. The tiled roof has a raised west section with cross finial over the porch, and is hipped over the sanctuary. Three-light windows and clerestory lights in the five-bay nave, one-bay chancel and polygonal apse; lower aisles with pent roofs and gabled end projections. Orientation is conventional. The gabled west entrance front has a gabled projecting centre with recessed round-arched door in a gabled surround.

The interior has square columns supporting the clerestory, and above that, a plain strip of ceiling on paired brackets and the main ceiling gently raised. The concealed roof trusses are of steel. There is one full-width step at the sanctuary, then an apron projection with two steps to the altar and one to the tabernacle stand. The sanctuary furniture is all of good quality simple timber with tracery to the polygonal pulpit and to the altar rails, now set back against the wall.

Diocese: Hexham and Newcastle

Architect: R. A. Burke LRIBA

Original Date: 1954

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not listed