Dean Road, Ferryhill, Co. Durham DL17
A Gothic Revival church of the 192os. The budget was evidently tight but the result is nonetheless an attractive design which adds much to the character of the local area. The interior is light, open and welcoming.
Before the building of the present church, Mass was said in a house in the village. The driving force behind the new parish and its church was Fr Joseph Leo Power. The parish was formed on 1 November 1925. The foundation stone of the church was laid on 2 October 1926 and it was opened by Bishop Thorman on 21 June 1927. The new church seated 500. The original high altar, of Caen stone, was given by Mrs William Lawson, in memory of her husband. The account of the building in the Northern Catholic Calendar does not give the name of the architect.
A western narthex was added in about 2000.
The church is oriented north-south; all directions in this report are liturgical.
The church is an interesting exercise in achieving a certain amount of architectural distinction on a limited budget. It is designed in a stripped Perpendicular style and is arranged on traditional lines with a nave, three-sided sanctuary, north and south aisles under shallow lean-to roofs: the aisles broaden at their east ends into shallow transepts in front of the pair of chapels flanking the sanctuary (Sacred Heart, north: Lady Chapel, south). The roof covering is slate. The facing material is artificial stone, rock-faced for the main part of the walling but with smooth blocks to imitate ashlar for the dressings. The inner walls are presumably of brick. The walls are very thin, probably because the church is low and the load-bearing requirements are thus reduced. The windows are economically designed: they are broad with Gothic four-centred arches but without tracery to save expense. There is a clerestory with broad, low windows.
The interior is plastered and whitened: it is thus light and spacious with a four-bay nave with very wide four-centred arches on multi-shafted piers. Over the arcade arches are rows of blind traceried panels. The roof has tie-beams with queen posts: each bay has longitudinal boarding which rises to skirt the heads of the clerestory windows. At the west end is a gallery (with organ) spanning the nave. No fittings or fixtures require special mention: the current altar is Victorian and was brought from elsewhere, presumably at the time of the post-Vatican II reordering.
Architect: Not established
Original Date: 1927
Conservation Area: Yes
Listed Grade: Not Listed