Building » Richmond – St Joseph and St Francis Xavier

Richmond – St Joseph and St Francis Xavier

Newbiggin, Richmond, DL10 4DT

A large and handsome mid-nineteenth century Gothic church by a Yorkshire architect with an established London practice. The  building has good townscape presence in the conservation area, and its interior is well preserved.

The Jesuits established a mission at Richmond in the early  eighteenth century. In 1809 the Scrope family built a chapel in Newbiggin on the site of the present church, which was served at first by Benedictines and from 1814 by Jesuits. The original church was extended in the 1850s and then completely rebuilt in the late 1860s under the direction of Fr William Strickland. The foundation stone was laid on 13 August 1867 and Bishop Cornthwaite of Beverley opened the completed church on 28 July 1868. Fr Strickland also built a new presbytery adjoining the church, a new boys’ school behind it, and some cottages. The cost of all these works put the parish into debt for many years, which was not finally discharged until the 1890s. The organ was installed in about 1894, at a cost of £360.

When the Jesuits were reorganised in 1961 the care of the parish was transferred to the Middlesbrough Diocese and the large presbytery, built for the accommodation of several priests, passed into secular use.

List description


Roman Catholic Church. 1867-8, designed by George Goldie. Coursed rubble with ashlar dressings and slate roofs. Single nave and chancel with curved apse aisles, western porch and south western tower. Gothic Revival style. Chamfered plinth, flush ashlar quoins and cill bands, raised coped gables with kneelers and finials. South, entrance front, has projecting single storey lean-to porch with five pointed arches, containing 3 traceried windows and single flanking doors. Above 3 tall chamfered lancets, and a quatrefoil tracery circular window above. To the right a 2 light pointed arch window. To the left the tall slender tower with a square base rising to an octagonal bell-stage with short octagonal stone spire with 4 lucarnes. The lower stages have small stair lancets, and the bell-stage 4 narrow lancet bell openings. Clerestory has 5 circular windows to each side with chamfered quatrefoils. Aisles have pairs of chamfered lancets and alternating buttresses, with projecting vestry to east with external gable stack and circular stair turret with conical lead roof and finial. Projecting boilerhouse to west has tall circular stack. North apsidal end has three large, 3-light pointed arch windows with cinquefoil and trefoil tracery.

Interior. Nave has 4 bay east arcade and 5 bay west  arcade, with circular piers and responds with chamfered bases and stiff-leaf capitals, and plain, slightly chamfered arches. North west bay has panel tracery and dividing slender pier. Wooden roofs supported on curved stone corbels. Fine ashlar and marble curved reredos, and pulpit. Later wooden reredoses to aisles. Original C19 pews survive in the nave. Some good quality late C19 stained glass. Wooden organ and gallery to south.


Amended by AHP 15.01.2021

Heritage Details

Architect: George Goldie

Original Date: 1867

Conservation Area: Yes

Listed Grade: Grade II