Livesey Street, Collyhurst, Manchester M4
A building of monumental appearance, combining Art Deco and Romanesque motifs. The interior is highly impressive and the decorative scheme, which includes extensive mosaic work by Ludwig Oppenheimer, forms a rich and memorable ensemble. The church is part of a group, disparate architecturally, but functionally related, which includes the Presentation Convent.
The Miles Platting and Collyhurst areas of Manchester developed quickly from the beginning of the nineteenth century, mainly with a mixture of industrial buildings and mill workers’ housing. A church dedicated to St Patrick was built on the site by Fr Daniel Hearne in 1832. The adjacent Presentation Convent was added in 1834-6 after the Rector of St Patrick’s raised money for the establishment of the convent, an enclosed teaching order, and a school for girls where the nuns taught. The convent remains and the attached school has been rebuilt.
The original St Patrick’s church was demolished and replaced with the present building, which was opened in 1937 (free of debt). The architect was Harold Greenhalgh of Bolton, the external design very similar to his slightly earlier church of St Anne, Oldham (qv). The apse mosaics were added in 1951 and those in the north and south chapels in 1961.
A reordering probably undertaken in the 1960s or 70s involved removal of altar rails and bringing the existing altar forward. During the 1980s, before the building was listed, a major scheme (architect not established) created a suite of rooms at the west end including a new gallery with flights of steps.
All orientations given are liturgical. For a general description, see the list entry below. The church has great presence, with blunt pylon-like forms, and the interior is sumptuously appointed with Romanesque style columns painted to resemble marble, a marble altar, a red marble baldacchino with columns, rich mosaic work by Ludwig Oppenheimer and good marble statuary. The mosaic was added incrementally, with much of it completed during the 1950s. It includes a scene in the Lady Chapel based on Fra Angelico’s Annunciation. Stained glass windows include a panel with a depiction of the previous church and another honouring the founder of the Presentation Order. The reconfigured west end, with gallery, utilitarian columns and suspended ceilings does not match the original interior, at the same time it is not dominant.
Roman Catholic church. 1936, by H. Greenhalgh. Red brick with white stone dressings, slate roof. Romanesque style. Nave with north and south aisles, west tower, apsidal sanctuary. Stepped symmetrical facade formed by square central tower with narrow set-back and slightly lower side pieces, and square 2-storey porches to the ends of the aisles, all with stone parapets and flat roots; a giant blank arch to the tower containing a shallow portal with round-headed doorway which has a mosaic tympanum, and 3 round-headed lancet windows in a white stone surround. The side-pieces have tall lancets; the porches have doorways similar to that in the centre, including the tympanum, but generally simpler, and small round-headed windows above. The nave and aisles have round-headed lancets, and the apse is blind. Impressive interior in basilican form; aisle arcades of yellow marble with carved concave capitals and round-headed arches with panelled soffits; coffered ceiling; round-headed sanctuary arch, and apse with gilt and coloured mosaics.
Listing NGR: SJ8509799300
Architect: H. Greenhalgh
Original Date: 1936
Conservation Area: Yes
Listed Grade: Not Listed