Blackpool - Sacred Heart

Church House, 17 Talbot Road, Blackpool FY1 1LB

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The earliest and the most architecturally ambitious Catholic church in Blackpool. Built  by  EW  Pugin  at  the  expense  of  Miss  Tempest  of  Broughton  Hall,  and originally served by the Society of Jesus. Its most striking and original feature is the large octagon, added by Peter Paul Pugin in the late C19.

The first Catholic church in Blackpool. It was built in 1854 at the expense of Miss Monica Tempest of Broughton Hall, near Skipton, who stipulated that the church should be served by the Society of Jesus. The foundation stone was laid on 7 June 1856 by the Rt Rev Dr Goss, Bishop of Liverpool. The architect was Edward Welby Pugin, son of AWN Pugin. The original church quickly became too small for the ever- increasing number of visitors, and in 1890 was extended under the direction of Peter Paul Pugin, younger brother of Edward.

The church is 156 ft long, 90 ft broad at its widest, the tower 109 ft high and the lantern 97 ft high.

EW Pugin’s church consisted of the western part of the present church. PP Pugin built the octagon and present sanctuary at a cost of £8000. The original high altar and Lady Chapel altar and east window were reused.

The stained glass windows in the original nave are by Francis Barnett of Leith, 1857. The pulpit is a memorial to the Tempest family, benefactors of the church and shows three doctors of the Church: SS Ambrose, Jerome and Augustine.

The organ is a former cinema organ, brought over from the Waterloo cinema in 1936. The reordered semicircular sanctuary was created in 1972. The side altar of St Joseph was installed as the new forward altar, and the benches under the lantern were re- arranged around the sanctuary.  The font was moved to the reordered sanctuary, and the baptistry made into a Chapel of Peace.

LIST DESCRIPTION: 

1857, by E.W. Pugin, enlarged 1894 by Pugin and Pugin. Decorated Gothic. Stone, with slate roofs. West tower of 4 stages, angled buttresses and battlemented coping with tall corner pinnacles. Nave of 4 bays, with buttressed aisles, and nave transepts; octagonal crossing also with transepts, and octagonal lantern to the crossing. Aisle windows of 3 lights. Nave transepts have 4-light window with geometrical tracery, octagon transepts have large 6-light window with reticulated tracery and a 3-light gable eye with archivolt. Octagonal crossing has pyramidal roof bearing a distinctive octagonal wooden lantern with a pair of traceried windows in each side, and a pyramidal copper roof with gablets on alternate sides. Interior: nave arcade of moulded lancet arches on clustered marble columns. The unusual crossing is formed by an octagonal arcade of moulded arches on shafted piers; lantern above is carried on two tiers of hammerbeams in the angles, the upper tier supporting an unglazed prolongation of the wooden lantern above. Chancel has arched ceiling with painted and carved panels and large skylights, and a coved cornice with carvings of angels; chancel window of 5 lights with flowing tracery; elaborate carved reredos. A lady chapel in the salient each side of the chancel. Octagonal pulpit of elaborately carved white marble on a pedestal of short columns, alternately black and red.

Diocese: Lancaster

Architect: EW Pugin and Peter Paul Pugin

Original Date: 1857

Conservation Area: Yes

Modifications: 1894

Listed Grade: Grade II*