Building » Urmston – Our Lady and the English Martyrs

Urmston – Our Lady and the English Martyrs

Roseneath Road, Urmston, Manchester M41

A striking building of some architectural quality in a neo-Romanesque idiom. It makes a positive contribution to the appearance of this part of Urmston. The interior is simple and dignified, with good proportions. 

Urmston was a township within Flixton which became part of Trafford in 1974. The area grew with industry and the improvement of transport links during the nineteenth century. Although it merges with the neighbouring areas of Davyhulme and Flixton, it has a commercial hub in the town centre and retains its separate identity. The Catholic mission was founded from All Saints, Barton, by Canon Kershaw, who acquired land for a church in 1890. Initially a small building was adapted for church use. In 1893 an iron church was erected, with financial help from Lady Annette de Trafford. When this became redundant it was transferred to Droylsden and then to Moston for use until more permanent structures could be built in those places.A school was built in 1901

All orientations given are liturgical. The church is built of red and pale grey brick, with red terracotta dressings and herringbone brick detailing, creating a striking polychromatic effect.  The building is aisleless with stair towers flanking the main west entrance, where there is a large three-light window and a central porch clad in red terracotta. The style is free Romanesque with principal windows beneath super arches, those to the nave stepped. Inside, the nave is barrel vaulted and there is a narthex beneath a west gallery. The plain round-arched sanctuary arch is flanked by lesser arches, that to the north to a Lady Chapel.  A full-height reredos is formed by attached fluted pilasters framing three blind round-headed arches and supporting a deep cornice with segmental pediment. Sanctuary furnishings appear to be of mid-twentieth century date. They are very simple, of timber, and at the time of writing are due for replacement.  

. Eventually a new church was erected in 1911-13, using similar materials and polychromatic finishes to the school. The architect was Henry Oswald Hill of Manchester and the builders the local firm of J. 

In 2007 the parish merged with that of Our Lady of the Rosary, Davyhulme and the dedication was changed from English Martyrs to Our Lady and the English Martyrs.

Post-Vatican II reordering has involved the removal of the altar rails and high altar. Recently a new set of sanctuary furniture of Botticino marble has been designed by Gerard Lupton of Alberti, Lupton & Co. Ltd. in consultation with Fr Michael Jones. The furnishings are due for installation before the end of 2013.

Heritage Details

Architect: H. O. Hill

Original Date: 1913

Conservation Area: Yes

Listed Grade: Not Listed