Building » Whitehaven – St Mary

Whitehaven – St Mary

High Road, Kells, CA28 9PG

A late example of ‘modern Gothic’, showing the stylistic influence of F. X. Velarde.

The church was built in 1960 from designs by W. C. Mangan, to serve a mining community working at Haigh Pit. It is built of red brick with a plain red tile roof. West tower flanked by single-storey lobbies, broad nave with groups of triple windows under the eaves, tall chancel with southeast Lady Chapel and north east sacristy linked to the presbytery. The building shows the stylistic influence of F. X. Velarde, most obviously in the canted window  heads and in the similar treatment of the internal openings and of the arcade to the Lady Chapel.

The interior retains much of its 1960s character, with white painted walls, clear glazed windows and plain wooden benches. In the west wall is a tall tower arch, presumably intended for an organ. The side windows are set high in the wall. The roof timbers are exposed, the underside of the roof is boarded and both are painted. The chancel is tall, with a single hexagonal window high up in the east wall. There is a post-Vatican II forward altar but the canopy suspended over the site of the former high altar may be original. Lady Chapel furnishings include a figured marble altar and a Velarde-ish reredos panel.

Entry amended by AHP 21.12.2020

Heritage Details

Architect: W. C. Mangan

Original Date: 1960

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not Listed