Building » Hollinwood – Corpus Christi

Hollinwood – Corpus Christi

Derby Street, Chadderton, Oldham OL9 7HX

A well-detailed design, very conservative for its date, with an intact set of fittings. With the presbytery it forms an attractive group and has local heritage value.

Mass was said in Hollinwood from 1877 on Maple Lane,  in cottages  adapted as a chapel, led by the Rev. John Baste.  A school-chapel was built for the mission on Old Lane by the Rev. C. Muller, opening in 1878. The Rev. Thomas Walsh was the priest until 1888, and built a presbytery. A new school-chapel was built in 1903 by the Rev. B. Flynn, which served the parish until 1933 when the present church and presbytery were built, a project started by the Rev. Francis Oakes and realised by the Rev. W. Guinan. A contemporary report in The Tablet gives H. A. Yearsley LRIBA as the architect. The church was built to seat 400, to serve an expanding suburban area on the southwest side of Oldham.


The church is built of hard red brick with concrete details, and a pitched Welsh slate roof with coped verges and cast iron rainwater goods. It is orientated with the sanctuary to the northwest; in this description, conventional liturgical compass pints will be used.

The plan is arranged traditionally with a west entrance in a gabled porch, a seven-bay aisleless nave with narthex and west gallery, and an apsidal sanctuary. The three-bay Lady Chapel, south porch, confessionals and sacristies are expressed as separate elements with pitched or flat roofs. The style is late Gothic Revival with Perpendicular tracery in pointed windows with hoodmoulds:  four-light west window, three-light nave windows and two-light windows to the sanctuary. All windows have leaded glass and are protected with polycarbonate sheeting. Solid boarded doors have decorative scrolled iron hinges. The west end is embellished with pilasters, pinnacles and contrast banding. Somewhat incongruously, classical scrolls flank a central parapet, which appears to have been designed to accommodate a bellcote. The contemporary presbytery is connected to the northeast corner of the church by a single storey link, in similar design.

Inside, the nave interior has a pointed vaulted plaster ceiling with exposed arch-braced trusses, all painted.   The west bay is occupied by the narthex and gallery, with original oak and leaded glass screen and doors, and above, a Gothic-style panelled gallery front. The nave walls are plain plastered above a panelled dado with simple Gothic details. The floor is herringbone oak parquet, and pews and fittings are also oak.  The reordered sanctuary has a pointed arch, plaster walls above an oak dado, carpeted floor and painted roof trusses on corbels to the roof.  The reredos and tabernacle stand are oak, and the altar, now in a forward position is marble and Gothic. Niches flanking the sanctuary arch contain statues of the Sacred Heart and Our Lady. A pointed arcade leads to The Lady Chapel on the south side of the nave, and along the north side are arched oak doors to confessionals. Other fittings include an unusual stone vessel for holy water in the baptistery, octagonal stone font and stoup, possibly from the earlier church. The pipe organ with Gothic oak case was installed in 1960.

Heritage Details

Architect: H. A. Yearsley

Original Date: 1933

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not Listed