Wilmer Road, Bradford 9
A good example of a Victorian suburban church, which contributes positively to the street scene and is important for a fine collection of Eric Gill sculpture.
The suburb of Manningham developed on the northern edge of Bradford’s centre around the vast Italianate silk mills built by the Lister family in 1873. The first building where Mass was heard in Manningham was a school chapel built by Canon Scruton in 1878 on Beamsley Street, served by St Patrick’s. St Cuthbert’s became a new parish in 1882. Fr John Slattery engaged W.H. and J.E. Marten to build a new church and the foundation stone was laid by Bishop Gordon in 1890. The masons were Joseph North. The church and presbytery were built as part of a complex that included schoolrooms to the north of the church. The latter were demolished in 1960 and replaced with the present parish hall, renovated in 1980 from designs by architects Langtry-Langton. The sanctuary was re-ordered by Fr Wallis from designs from Langtry-Langton; in 1970 a new forward altar was installed. Fr Cronin arranged for the lining of the nave roof, the plastering of the sanctuary ceiling and the re-fitting of the sacristy in 1975.
The church is in Manningham, a late 19th century inner suburb on the north side of Bradford, where the streets are lined with attractive stone-built terraced housing close to the vast Lister Mills. The church is close to Lister Park, with another green space across the road. The church forms a characterful group with its attached presbytery, set behind a low stone wall and hedge with gate piers. The modern hall, or Unity Centre, is separated from the west end of the church by a tarmacadam car park.
See the attached list description. This misspells the architect’s name as Martin. The church is notable for the fine collection of Eric Gill devotional sculpture, 1921-24, commissioned by Fr John O’Connor (parish priest 1919-1952 and a close friend of Gill). In addition to the Stations of the Cross, similar to the earlier set in Westminster Cathedral, Gill created the tall bas relief panel of St Anthony of Padua, set in the wall close to the baptistery, and the pair of statues of Our Lady and St Joseph and the infant Jesus which flank the chancel steps (not all referred to in the list description). The Stations were carved after drawings by Desmond Chute, on square panels of fine limestone (Beer) and were originally painted in tempera. Other fittings not mentioned in the list description are the 1930s abstract stained glass windows in the aisles by Leonard Walker and a set of good Gothic-style memorial windows in the apsed sanctuary to the local Fattorini family (dated between 1872 and 1909).
Original Date: 1891
Conservation Area: Yes
Listed Grade: II