Bransholme, Hull, East Yorkshire
A post-Vatican II church design of some architectural merit in its use of space and the bold jagged roofline. Some contemporary fittings also of merit.
The first St Mary’s was a combined school and chapel built in Wilton Street in 1856. This was superseded by Smith, Brodrick & Lowther’s church of St Mary, Wilton Street, built in 1890-1 and for many years the only church serving eastern Hull. New parishes were gradually developed from St Mary’s: Sacred Heart (1926), St Bede’s (1953), St Theresa (1962), St Stephen (1966) and St Francis (1973). Finally the new St Mary, Queen of Martyrs church was built at Bransholme in 1976-7 and the old St Mary’s church closed and demolished in 1982. Architect for the new church was J. T. Reid of The Reid Partnership, Pontefract.
The church is built largely of yellow brick with a concrete tiled roof and an engaged bell turret of coursed stone on the southeast side, barely projecting above the roof and tucked away between the church and presbytery. The most striking aspect of the exterior is the busy play of opposing roof planes, an unequal butterfly over the nave and sanctuary rising to its highest point over the altar which is lit by three glazed gablets facing west. The west porch or narthex has a lean-to roof, the centre section raised and with a reverse pitch. Sacristy and other ancillary accommodation is arranged in lower projections around the east side. An imaginative and striking form. The west entrance has a shallow projecting canopy, the fascia and a panel above with textured treatment. Windows in vertical strips either singly or in groups of three, some with decorative metal screens. External clock face at the southeast corner.
The interior has the same exposed yellow brick as the exterior except for the curved east wall which has a heavy textured plaster. V-jointed boarded ceiling except to the flat area at the hinge of the butterfly which is of smooth painted plaster. The stone clad bell turret is brought into the building as a strong vertical feature to the right of the sanctuary and has a projecting shelf for the tabernacle. To the left of the sanctuary a (metal?) screen of bold irregular pattern screens the organ. The east wall is dominated by a fibreglass sculpture of the risen Christ with arms outstretched and leaning forward from the wall. The artist of this work has not been established but is presumed to be the same as that for the organ screen and the Stations of the Cross. The altar (brought from Endsleigh College) has a tapering base with deeply carved relief panels and an inverted tapering top. The bells and clock and the stained glass were re-used from the demolished French Convent, Park Grove,Hull.
Architect: The Reid Partnership
Original Date: 1976
Conservation Area: No
Listed Grade: Not Listed