Darlingscote Road, Shipston-on-Stour, Warwickshire CV36
A former workhouse chapel in lancet Gothic style, converted to Catholic use in 1979. The mid-nineteenth century chapel is architecturally complete, and has some good carved stone detailing. The internal fittings include a number of items by A. W. Pugin, Charles Hansom and others, brought here from local Catholic centres which have passed out of use.
In 1836-8 a Poor Law Union workhouse was built on Dallingscott (now Darlingscote) Road, to the north of Shipston-on-Stour, from designs by John Plowman of Oxford. The workhouse was built to a cruciform plan, to accommodate 300 inmates. The entrance block faced southwest. Within sight of this an Anglican chapel was built in 1847, served from Barcheston; both workhouse and chapel are shown on the Ordnance Survey map of 1900.
After the closure of the workhouse in 1930 the site was taken over by Warwickshire County Council and became an old people’s home, Shipston House. By the 1970s both the main building and the chapel had become derelict and the chapel vandalised (the glass and internal furnishings destroyed). In 1978 the latter and some adjoining land was acquired for the sum of £10,000, for use as a Catholic church.
Up to that point there had been no place of Catholic worship in Shipston, which historically had been part of the mission based at Foxcote, near Ilmington, home of the Canning family. A separate chapel had been built there in 1815, which served until 1934, when a Catholic school building of 1864, designed by C. A. Buckler, was adapted to serve as a parish church, dedicated to St Philip. Mass was said by Ilmington priests at various locations around Shipston from the 1950s to the 1970s, but there was a growing need for a church in the town, a need which the old workhouse chapel met.
In 1979 the Rev. David Keniry was appointed first parish priest of the newly-created parish of Brailes and Ilmington with Shipston. He commissioned plans from Brian Rush, architect, for the repair of the chapel and the addition of a small parish room. Much of the work was done with volunteer labour. A wooden altar was acquired from the former convent of the Sisters of Charity of St Paul at Newbold Revel, near Rugby, and the pews were brought from a new church in Birmingham and cut down to fit. Designs for a new east window, depicting Pentecost, were commissioned from Anthony Naylor of Birmingham. Statues were brought from Ilmington and other new furnishings obtained or provided.
The church was consecrated by the Rt Rev Terence Brain, Auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham, on 28 September 1992.
The Shipston congregation has continued to grow. The parish hall was extended in 2011 (architect Laurie Day of Warwick, builder Nick Drury of Brailes), when the church was also redecorated and further adorned. With the closure of the church at Ilmington in 2013, Our Lady and St Michael became the parish church of the large new parish of Shipston-on-Stour with Brailes (covering 37 villages), although the parish priest continues to be based at Brailes.
The church is a small former workhouse chapel, built in 1847 in local brick, with brownish Cotswold limestone dressings and a slate roof. A modern (1979 and 2011) parish hall is connected to the south side, giving off the eastern bay of the nave. The church consists of an aisleless nave with a short square-ended chancel and a gabled west porch (added in 1858). The nave is of five bays, each bay marked by an attached buttress. The lancet windows have hoodmoulds with plain stops. The western gable end has stone kneelers and a stone gabled bellcote housing one bell (cast by Taylor of Oxford, circa 1847). Below this is a small circular window with tracery. Drinkwater/Doolan’s notes point out the similarities of the design with that for St Mary, Uttoxeter (1839, qv), which its architect A. W. Pugin considered to be a model design for a small and economical parish church.
The porch has a boarded door with iron strap hinges, and a hoodmould with carved headstops, said to be the likenesses of Princess Victoria, eldest child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, and Frederick, German Crown Prince, who married in 1858. In the porch is a large holy water stoup in the form of a kneeling angel. This is one of several furnishings from St Philip, Ilmington, some of which were designed for the Noel family chapel at Campden House, Chipping Campden. Built as an Anglican chapel by R. C. Carpenter in 1848, this had been adapted for Catholic use after the conversion of Lord and Lady Campden in 1850. The stoup (and the carved stone reredos, also now at Shipston) were introduced into the Campden House chapel in 1853, and were designed by Charles Hansom. Other features of note in the porch are the carved headstops, with medievalising heads of a king and queen, and stained glass windows depicting angels, by Anthony Naylor (2006).
The main space has plain plastered walls and a king-post roof with exposed purlins. A chancel arch divides the nave from the sanctuary, which has a lower rafter and purlin roof. The wall posts in the nave are carried on stone corbels with nicely detailed naturalistic carving of the ‘green man’, human heads, grapevines, angel heads etc.
All the furnishings are of circa 1979, or were added or brought here later. They include:
Outside the south door, within the foyer of the modern parish hall, is a fine marble bust of Our Lady of Sorrows, of Arts and Crafts character. Attached to the outside wall of the hall is a low-relief metal sculpture of St Michael and the dragon, by Judy Brown of Shipston (circa 1979).
List description (the church was listed Grade II in 2016, following Taking Stock)
A Roman Catholic parish church, built as an Anglican workhouse chapel in 1847; converted to a Catholic church in 1979. Architect unknown. The parish centre is excluded from the listing.
Reasons for designation: The Roman catholic Church of Our Lady and St Michael, built in 1847 as an Anglican workhouse chapel and converted to a Roman Catholic parish church in 1979, is listed at Grade II, for the following principal reasons: * Architectural interest: the building of 1847 demonstrates some architectural style, with high quality carving and tracery; * Historic interest: its history as a former workhouse chapel, later converted to a Roman Catholic parish church, is unusual, and adds to its interest; * Fixtures and fittings: the furnishings brought to the church in 1979 and since, from other churches and chapels in the area, are of high quality, particularly those made for a country house chapel in the 1850s by A W N Pugin and Charles Hansom; * Group value: with the other surviving element of the former Poor Law Union workhouse, now known as Shipston House, listed at Grade II.
History: In 1836-8 a Poor Law Union workhouse was built on Dallingscott (now Darlingscote) Road in Shipston on Stour, to designs by John Plowman of Oxford, with a cruciform plan, its entrance block facing SW. Within the grounds, across a path but within sight of the entrance, an Anglican chapel was built in 1847. The design appears to have been strongly influenced by the Church of St Mary in Uttoxeter, by A W N Pugin, who considered it to be a model for a small and economical parish church. The workhouse was closed in 1930, and taken over by Warwickshire County Council as a home for elderly people. By the 1970s, both the former workhouse and the chapel were derelict, with the chapel having lost its internal furnishings and glass to vandalism. In 1978, the Archdiocese of Birmingham acquired the chapel and some adjoining land, in order to convert the chapel for use as a Catholic church. A school was built on the adjacent plot. The workhouse site was redeveloped for housing in the early years of the C21. The only other remaining element, the main part of the entrance block, was retained and converted. It was listed at Grade II in 1977.
There had been no Catholic place of worship in Shipston on Stour; historically, it had been part of the mission based at Foxcote, near Ilmington to the north, home of the Canning family. A chapel had been built at Foxcote in 1815, which served as the parish church as well as a private chapel until a Catholic school building of 1864 was adapted as a church. Various locations around Shipston were used to celebrate mass by visiting priests from Ilmington from the 1950s to the 1970s, but the size of the congregation was such that a dedicated place of worship was needed. The former workhouse chapel was repaired and a new parish of Brailes and Ilmington with Shipston was created. Architect Brian Rush was commissioned to plan the repairs, and to design a small parish room, which was to be attached to the south side of the church. Anthony Naylor of Birmingham created new stained glass depicting Pentecost for the east window. The church was furnished from various sources in the area, and has continued to benefit from other receipts as nearby churches close. Many of the current furnishings and fittings were brought to Shipston after the closure of the church at Ilmington, which has been absorbed into the current parish of Shipston on Stour with Brailes, in 2013. These included a number of items which had been designed originally for the Noel family’s private chapel at Campden House, Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, among them stained glass by AWN Pugin and a reredos and sculptural stoup by Charles Hansom. The parish room was extended further to the south in 2011 to create a larger parish centre with community facilities.
Details: A Roman Catholic parish church, built as an Anglican workhouse chapel in 1847; converted to a Catholic church in 1979. Architect unknown. The parish centre is excluded from the listing. MATERIALS: red local brick with Cotswold limestone dressings, and slate roofs. PLAN: a small rectangular church orientated NW-SE, with a slightly narrower chancel, and west porch, with a parish centre attached at right angles toward its south-eastern end, extending southwards. EXTERIOR: the church, which is on a darker brick plinth, has dentil brick cogging to the eaves, and angle buttresses to the corners, consists of an aisleless nave with a short, square-ended sanctuary, and a gabled western porch, added in 1858. The nave is of five bays, each bay marked by an attached buttress with two offsets. The lancet windows have hoodmoulds with plain stops. The gable ends have stone kneelers and coped, stone verges. The eastern end is surmounted by a stone cross; at the western end, a stone gabled bellcote for one bell. Below this is a small, circular window with elaborately-cusped geometric tracery and a heavily-moulded surround. The west porch has stone kneelers and verges to match the body of the church, and the gable is surmounted by an exuberant floriated cross. The pointed-arched doorway is has two chamfered and moulded orders with run-outs, and a hood mould. The label stops are portrait heads of Princess Victoria, daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, and Crown Prince Frederick of Germany, who were married in 1858, the year the porch was constructed. The doors have iron strap hinges. INTERIOR: the interior of the porch houses the original entrance doorway, with a hood mould and carved head-stops, in the form of medievalising heads of a king and queen. The nave and chancel have plain plastered walls, incised to resemble ashlar, and an A-truss roof with king-posts rising from the collars, and single purlins. The pointed chancel arch divides the nave from the sanctuary, which has a lower rafter and purlin roof. The east window is a triple lancet, with modern stained glass. The timber altar in a broadly Arts and Crafts style was brought from a former convent at Newbold Revel near Rugby. The wall-posts in the nave are carried on carved stone corbels with detailed, naturalistic carvings including a green man, male and female heads with foliage, a grapevine, a bird in foliage and angels. PRINCIPAL FITTINGS: the church has been furnished using a variety of fittings and furnishings brought from other Roman Catholic places of worship in what now constitutes the parish, in 1979 and since. These include work by various makers at a variety of dates. The REREDOS, carved stone with three crocketed gables and a central tabernacle, is by Charles Hansom and was made in 1853 for Campden House, Chipping Campden, as was the large holy water STOUP in the porch, in the form of a kneeling angel, also by Charles Hansom, 1853. The historic STAINED GLASS in two windows the north wall of the nave depicts the Annunciation; it was designed by A W N Pugin and made by Hardman of Birmingham, also for the chapel at Campden House. The modern stained glass in the sanctuary and porch is by Anthony Naylor. On the western end of the north wall, a small number of MEMORIALS including one to Philip Canning Howard and his wife Alice, by ‘mouse man’ Thompson of Kilburn, North Yorkshire. The BELL is by Taylor of Oxford, circa 1847. SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: attached at right angles to the church, opening off the easternmost bay of the nave, is a single-storey parish centre, in two phases, dating from 1979 and 2011, with kitchen, lavatory and meeting facilities. The parish centre is excluded from the listing.
Books and journals: Scarisbrick, JJ, History of the Diocese of Birmingham 1850-2000, (2008), 159; Other: Drinkwater, P and Doolan, B: The Catholic Church of Our Lady and St Michael, Shipston-on-Stour: A Short History, leaflet (undated); The Architectural History Practice Limited: Churches in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham: An Architectural and Historical Review Prepared for English Heritage and the Archdiocese of Birmingham (2015).
Architect: Not established
Original Date: 1847
Conservation Area: No
Listed Grade: Grade II