Building » Whitehaven – St Mary

Whitehaven – St Mary

High Road, Kells, CA28 9PG

Of some interest as example of 1960s ‘modern Gothic’, showing the stylistic influence of F.X.Velarde.

Built on a new site to serve a mining community working at Haigh Pit.

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 south east Lady Chapel and north east vestry 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.

The nave altar is presumably recent, but the canopy suspended over the site of the former high altar may be original.

The Lady Chapel fittings, including the figured marble altar and the Velarde-ish reredos panel are presumably original.

Heritage Details

Architect: W C Mangan?

Original Date: 1960

Conservation Area: Yes

Listed Grade: Not Listed