Building » Glossop – St Mary Crowned

Glossop – St Mary Crowned

Sumner Street, Glossop, Derbyshire

The vast urban church is a landmark in the conservation area and associated with the industrial development of Glossop; it was built and paid for by the Sumner family, local mill owners. The design is in the Early English Gothic style and the internal finishes are now plain, although retaining fittings of interest.

Whilst All Saints Glossop was built by the Duke of Norfolk close to Glossop Hall, St Mary’s was built to serve the needs of the growing working population of the mill town. The school on St Mary’s Road was built as a boys’ Catholic school in 1854, funded by Francis Sumner, owner of nearby Wren Nest cotton mill, with permission from the Duke of Norfolk. Sumner and his family funded the building of the church in 1882-7, on a site given by Lord Howard of Glossop. The foundation stone was laid on 3 July 1886 by Bishop Bagshawe and records the name of the architect (A. E. Dempster, of Birmingham). The church cost £17,000 and the contractor was J. L. Ward of Manchester.


The list entry (below) describes the church’s principal features and fittings.  The church is striking for its vast scale and  internal height (70 feet/23  metres), and retains some good quality late nineteenth century fittings. The sanctuary has been partly reordered but retains a Caen stone Gothic high altar and reredos, along with panelled stone communion rails with iron gates in situ. The side altar in the south aisle is to St Charles Borromeo with stained glass windows above signed J. Clarke & Sons, Dublin, c.1906. The Gothic wrought iron baptistery screen is said to be from another, unknown church, but this has not been verified. Relief carved wooden Stations of Cross are by Mayer of Munich. The carved confessional doors were made by Mr Kipling of Tintwistle in the 1940s.

List description


Roman Catholic church. 1882-87. Coursed millstone grit with ashlar dressings and Welsh slate roofs with coped gables and cross finials. STYLE: Gothic Revival. PLAN: nave with aisles, bell tower, west baptistry, south-west porch and apsidal east end. EXTERIOR: double chamfered plinth, sill bands, moulded cornice and angle buttresses with set-offs, gabled tops and 4 corner pinnacles. West front has projecting apsidal baptistry with single trefoil window to each face topped by pierced parapet. Above large 6-light pointed arch window with geometrical tracery. North aisle has pointed arch doorway and south aisle single 2-light pointed arch window. North and south aisles have eight 2-light pointed arch windows, one on south side replaced with projecting gabled porch and another replaced with projecting confessional, above 8 pairs of lancets to clerestory. Roof has gabled dormer vents. Prominent polygonal bell tower to south-east corner of nave supported by massive buttresses with outsize set-offs. Apsidal east end has five 2-light pointed arch windows with geometrical tracery and pierced parapet.

INTERIOR: has nave of 8 bays with circular piers and responds with moulded square section capitals, chamfered corners, continuous hoodmould with shields in spandrel. Deeply recessed paired clerestory windows. Scissor braced roof with arched braces, aisles with stone transverse strainer arches. Panelled doors to confessional and presbytery under hoodmoulds. Chancel with stone parcloses of 5 open bays with trefoil headed arches surmounted by angels. Sanctuary marked by sentry arch on corbelled double shafts. 3 bay stone reredos; the other sides of the canted apse with painted arches and decorated ceiling. FITTINGS: included low chancel screen wall. Decorated iron screen to western baptistry projects into nave. Octagonal stone font. Altar with last supper etc in relief. Stained glass to apse with scenes from the life of Mary. Triple arched sedilia under elaborate traceried canopy. Complete set of contemporary open benches to nave. Screens to internal porch.

Heritage Details

Architect: A. E. Dempster

Original Date: 1882

Conservation Area: Yes

Listed Grade: Grade II