High Street, Corby Glen, Lincolnshire
A good example of a mid Victorian rural Catholic church with an especially fine set of stained glass windows by John Hardman & Co.
*Update: the church closed in 2012*
The history of the Catholic church at Corby descends from nearby Irnham Hall, where the Thimelby, Conquest, Arundell and Cliffords had kept the faith through penal times. A chapel was built there in 1822-3 in ‘Grecian style’ to designs by Joseph Ireland, exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1822 (although the Register of Confirmations Marriages and Deaths for Irnham states that the chapel was opened in 1826). An entry in the baptismal register 1812-59 tells that, following the purchase of Irnham by the Protestant Mr Woodhouse, the chapel was taken down ‘the middle of December 1855. The materials amounting to about a thousand loads were transferred to Corby by the middle of April 1856…’ Although the materials were brought from Irnham the appearance of the church at Corby Glen appears entirely the work of Weightman, Hadfield & Goldie.
In the second of his memoranda inserted into the Baptism Register 1812-1859, Canon John Gascoyne writes: ‘the decorations of the Corby church were mainly done in 1868 and 1869’. This included new stained glass by Hardman & Co.
The church is accurately described in the list entry (below), apart perhaps from the reference to the altar tabernacle as a pyx. Attention might also be drawn to the painted roofs, the pews and other wooden furnishings. There is a plain octagonal stone font and trefoil-headed niches either side of the entrance with inset fluted bowls as holy water stoups. The most impressive thing about the church is the complete set of stained glass windows by John Hardman & Co, executed between 1868 and 1874, a time when Hardman’s were in their heyday with John Hardman Powell, trained by A. W. N. Pugin, leading the stained glass design. It is all of exceptional quality.
Roman Catholic Church. 1855-6. In c.1300 style. Ashlar with stone coped slate roofs. Nave with clerestory and western bellcote, chancel, vestry, north porch and aisle. The west end has 2 stepped buttresses and 2 string courses. Central shaped and gabled statue niche, flanked by single tall trefoil headed lancets with trefoils over. Above a further trefoil and to right of gable a double bellcote with mid wall shafts, pointed heads and pierced sexfoil to gable. In the west wall of the north aisle a 2 light window. Gabled north porch has a double chamfered outer door with moulded hood. The inner doorway is single chamfered with hood and floriate stops. In the north wall 4 pairs of 2 light windows and to the clerestory alternating trefoil and quatrefoil lights in circular surrounds. The east aisle wall has further 2 light window with trefoil over and in the chancel north wall are 2 single lights also with trefoils. The east window is of 3 lights with cusped heads and quatrefoil over with moulded hood and human head stops. On the south side of the chancel a single storey link connects the former presbytery with the church, in the west wall 2 pairs of shouldered windows. The south nave wall has 5 pairs of trefoil lights with cusped quatrefoils over, separated by stepped buttresses.
Interior. 4 bay north arcade with pointed arches, round columns and floriate annular capitals. Chancel arch double chamfered with octagonal imposts, foliate capitals, moulded hood with angel stops. In the north aisle a trefoil headed piscina and at the west end of the nave a timber gallery on octagonal posts. Panelled and painted ceilings. Fittings all C19 with fine brass telescopic altar rails. In the Sanctuary an encaustic tiled floor, stone altar with sacred monograms, and gabled pyx. In the north aisle substantial low wooden screen with paired pierced traceried arches and moulded cornice. The stone altar has panels containing carvings of angels holding scrolls, with above a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Complete collection of contemporary stained glass. The Catholic Church was moved from the Irnham Estate to Corby when the Cliffords, a Catholic family, sold the Estate to the Protestant Woodhouses in mid C19.
Listing NGR: SK9982325268
Former presbytery, now house. 1855-6 in c.1300 style. Ashlar, slate roof with raised stone coped gables, kneelers, trefoil finial. Single ashlar ridge stack with chamfered coped top. T-plan, with single storey link to Church. 2 storey, 3 bay front, the right hand bay being advanced and gabled. In the angle between the ranges a 6 panel door with Caernarvon surround and cusped trefoil light over. To left a single 2 light plain sash and to right a similar 3 light window, to first floor 2 further 2 light sashes, all have wedge shaped heads to the lights, chamfered surrounds and lintels. The right hand side front has similar fenestration and a moulded and pointed niche containing a plain shield. Included for group value only. Listing NGR: SK9983825261
 Information from Canon A. Dolan
Architect: Weightman, Hadfield & Goldie
Original Date: 1857
Conservation Area: Yes
Listed Grade: Grade II