Building » Wilmslow – Sacred Heart and St Teresa

Wilmslow – Sacred Heart and St Teresa

Green Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9

An early twentieth century Decorated Gothic design by a member of the Gillow family, architects and furniture designers of Lancaster. Superficially of conventional appearance, it has a relatively unaltered exterior and a complex interior of architectural interest.

A church of 1873 on another site was replaced by the present building using land given by Trustees of the de Trafford family in 1900. Work started in 1911 but progressed slowly over the war years. The architect was a member of the prominent Gillow family of Lancaster. The presbytery seems to have been planned from the first but was not executed until 1928. There was a reordering in the 1980s and another in 2008-09 by Mather & Bennett. More recently a separate baptistery area has been formed in the north chapel.

The church adopts a basic T-plan with shallow transeptal chapels, given architectural emphasis by their gabled ends and sides and by their height, equal to that of the chancel. The building is of red brick with terracotta dressings and windows are executed in Decorated style. A niche above the south doorway contains a modern statue, Mother and Child by Christopher Rose-Innes.

The interior is unexpectedly spacious and elaborate, with a complex timber roof and narrow processional aisles, not externally expressed. The arcades are of brick and stone with banded octagonal piers on high bases, each with carved detailing to the capitals.  The  broad  chancel  arch  has  detached  shafts  and  there  are  generous transeptal chapels. Reordering has created uncluttered spaces in the chapels, that to the north adapted as a baptistery, with simple bold treatment of the furnishings and décor  (photo  bottom  right).  There  is  a  very  simply  furnished  sanctuary,  with  a forward altar, perhaps rather bare in appearance. A west gallery incorporates a narthex beneath.

Heritage Details

Architect: William Gillow

Original Date: 1914

Conservation Area: Yes

Listed Grade: Not Listed