Bridgewater Street, Little Hulton, Manchester M38
A red brick and terracotta Gothic Revival design of the turn of the twentieth century, with a striking west front. The interior is characterful, and retains some of the original or early furnishings, including the elaborate high altar.
Little Hulton is in a coal mining area which grew in the nineteenth century and expanded as part of rehousing schemes after the Second World War. It became part of Salford in 1974.A school chapel was opened in 1878 and a separate mission established in 1890. An iron church opened in 1895 but was destroyed by fire three years later. It was replaced by the present building in 1899-1900. The identity of the architect has not been established. A proposed tower and spire shown in drawings in the Diocesan Archive were not built. The lower walls of the church were later lined in marble, probably in the early twentieth century. Post-Vatican II reordering involved extension of the sanctuary platform, with the introduction of a simple forward altar and removal of the altar rails and pulpit.
All orientations given are liturgical. The building is of red brick with yellow terracotta dressings and windows with Decorated-style tracery. It is aisleless, with a northwest porch which is the base of an unexecuted tower. At the east end the presbytery range continues in line down the street. There is a striking west front with a large wheel window and two tiers of lancets below. The sides have windows with traceried heads and the porch doorway is set in a decorative terracotta surround. There is a small cupola ventilator in the centre of the ridge line. The interior is impressive due to the effect of the west end, its windows filled with stained glass (unsigned, appearing to be of early twentieth century date). The two tiers of windows suggest an intended (or removed) west gallery. There is an arch-braced timber roof with principals rising from shafts resting on corbels. A tall sanctuary arch with a large Calvary hanging in front (not shown in archive photographs) is flanked by lesser arches to the side chapels. There is an elaborate reredos with tall traceried and crocketed pinnacles with an integral altar and carved scenes of the life of Christ in the sanctuary. The Lady Chapel reredos has traceried niches and carved scenes from the life of the Virgin. There is an organ loft above the Sacred Heart chapel with the pipes visible in an upper arched opening. Walls of the sanctuary and the lower parts of the nave walls are lined in coloured marbles.
Architect: Not established
Original Date: 1900
Conservation Area: No
Listed Grade: Not Listed