Blythe Bridge Road, Caverswall, Staffordshire ST11
A small, aisleless Gothic Revival church of the 1860s by a distinguished Catholic architect. It occupies a prominent position within the village conservation area.
Catholics in Caverswall were served by itinerant missioners until 1811, when Benedictine nuns from Ghent settled at Caverswall Castle and opened a school. The nuns’ chaplain attended to the district and the public was admitted to the convent chapel. According to Kelly, a larger chapel was built in 1812-13. The nuns moved to Oulton in 1851 and Caverswall was then served from St Gregory’s, Longton. The present church was built in 1863-4 to designs by a well-known Catholic architect, Gilbert Blount, at the cost of Sir Percival Radcliffe, whose family had recently taken over the castle. The foundation stone was laid by Bishop Ullathorne on the Thursday in Easter Week, 1863 and the church was opened on 28 January 1864. Much embellishment took place in 1923, including the addition of a high altar reredos, stone panelling in the sanctuary, and iron railings around the baptistery.
The list entry (below) describes the exterior only.
Inside, there is a pointed arch between the nave and sanctuary, but the rood screen shown at figure 1 does not survive. The walls are plastered and painted off-white (window reveals blue, red on the sanctuary end wall), replacing an earlier scheme of stencil decoration. Over the nave is an arch-braced collar roof. The chancel roof is four-sided and is divided into painted rectangular panels. There is a gallery at the west end. The reredos of 1923 with mosaic and opus sectile angel figures is a fine termination to the sanctuary.
Catholic Church. 1863-4 by Gilbert Blount. Rock-faced, coursed stonework; banded tiled roof; verge parapets with buttressed bellcote at west end; nave (south porch) and chancel. Nave: buttressed at angles and to east of centre; four lancet windows widely spaced 1:3 flanking gabled porch with moulded pointed arch. West end has slight central break with two light pointed west window over west door and figure in pointed niche set under bellcote. Lower chancel, angle buttressed of one window, pointed of two lights and plate tracery. The church occupies a prominent position in the village centre flanking the approach to the Church of St. Peter (qv). B.O.E. p.95.
Listing NGR: SJ9512842853
Architect: Gilbert Blount
Original Date: 1864
Conservation Area: Yes
Listed Grade: Grade II