Building » Mexborough – English Martyrs

Mexborough – English Martyrs

Cemetery Road, Mexborough, Rotherham, S64

A small, neat interwar design of cruciform plan, with a spacious and bright vaulted interior. It has few historic features, but contributes to the local street scene in this former colliery town. 

Mexborough grew as the colliery developed, and the Catholics drawn to the area were initially served by St Alban, Denaby Main. During the 1920s, Canon Leteux, parish priest at St Alban’s, said Mass in various buildings around Mexborough including Mexborough House (from 1928). After this building was destroyed by fire, the Central Hall on West Street was used. The Rev. F. Spence established a fund for a chapel-of-ease to St Alban’s, and a plot of land was bought in 1929. The foundation stone was laid on 11 March 1930 and the church opened on 21 December 1930. It was formally opened and dedicated to the Blessed English Martyrs by Bishop Cowgill of Leeds on 30 April 1931. The church, which seated 250 and cost £2,000, was built as a memorial to Daniel Dalton of Denaby, a successful turf accountant and Catholic benefactor. Mexborough became an independent parish in 1947, when a house for the parish priest was acquired on Adwick Road.


The compact building is faced in red brick laid in English bond with concrete or reconstituted stone dressings. The gabled roofs are covered in plain red clay tiles, with plain verges and terracotta finials to the gables, and there is a timber cupola over the crossing with a copper spirelet. The cruciform building is aligned with the sanctuary to the east, a gabled porch to the west and an added sacristy to the southeast. The west porch has a large painted square-headed door surround and tall double panelled doors, with a side door to the south side. The windows are steel with leaded glazing; north and south transepts each have a large segmental-headed five-light window with brick mullions to the gable end, and there are single light windows to the north and south of the nave. The east wall of the sanctuary is blind, while there are three clerestory windows to its north and south walls. A stone panel on the gable end of the north transept is inscribed with the date 1930. The added sacristy has a flat roof and a doorway facing west.

The interior is well-proportioned, with a plastered groin vault over the crossing. The walls are plain plastered with fair-faced brick to pilasters at the crossing and corners. The floor is carpeted below the pine pews, arranged to face east in nave and transepts. The sanctuary has a simple altar on brick pedestal, and oak dado panelling. The Stations of the Cross are deep relief plaster panels with arched heads.

Heritage Details

Architect: Not established

Original Date: 1930

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not Listed