Quay Street, Whitehaven
A late nineteenth century dual-purpose school and chapel, built by the Benedictines to serve an area of poor housing, now cleared.
The church was built by the Benedictines in 1889 as a dual-purpose school and chapel to serve an area of poor, crowded housing around the harbour. The architect was Charles Walker of Newcastle. The original building was designed to accommodate 300 infants; at its west end there was a screened off recess for an altar that could be opened to convert the classroom into a chapel. In 1905 a canted apse addition replaced the original entrance hall and outbuildings at the east end and a sacristy was added to the south. A new screen was inserted into the main school room to provide a dedicated space with seating for sixty in the chapel, but allowing the screen to be opened to the main schoolroom beyond to accommodate up to 600. In the 1960s the infants’ school relocated and in the 1980s the building was significantly reduced in size, with the demolition of the sacristy and the western three quarters of the original school (including the original screened-off altar recess). In 2014 the remaining building was restored. The surrounding housing has been cleared and the church’s immediate setting is now a public car park.
Entry amended by AHP 20.12.2020
Architect: C. Walker
Original Date: 1889
Conservation Area: Yes
Listed Grade: Not Listed