Half Fields Road, Winlaton, Blaydon-on-Tyne, Tyne and Wear NE21
A well-detailed 1960s church, designed to fit in with its village context while nevertheless remaining distinctively modern. The interior retains much of its original character.
There was a chapel dedicated to St Anne in Winlaton in the sixteenth century which, according to local tradition, was destroyed during the rebellion of the earls in 1569. The present St Anne’s was built after the war on a new site to serve this expanding suburb. The foundation stone was laid on 28 October 1961 and the completed church opened by Bishop Cunningham on 20 December 1962. It was described in the Northern Catholic Calendar as ‘after the style of the traditional English village church’. The architect was David Brown of Newcastle and the final cost was about £50,000.
The church is of traditional form but in a modern idiom and was designed to seat 450. The walls are faced with buff coloured brick laid in stretcher bond while the roof is covered in green Westmorland slate. On plan, the church comprises an aisled nave and sanctuary under a continuous ridged roof with a southwest tower incorporating a south porch. There is a projecting circular (former) baptistery giving off the north side. The west gable rests on broad brick piers and between them the front is almost completely glazed, with a stepped window of nine lights with a lower section incorporating the main entrance door. The rectangular southwest tower has a moulded stone doorway on the south side with a carved figure above, a brick bell stage with three openings on the short sides and five on the long sides and a pyramidal roof. The main roof over the nave is brought down over the tall side aisles which have tall three-light windows. The short sanctuary has one rectangular four-light window on each side.
Inside, the roof of the nave is carried down to the aisle outer walls with tall five-bay arcades formed under the lowest purlins, with wide triangular-headed openings on concrete piers. At the west end is a timber gallery across the full width of the church. Immediately east of the gallery on the north side of the church is a small circular baptistery. The sanctuary is a continuation of the nave, with a canopied crucifix on the blind east wall, and there are small chapels on either side. All the original sanctuary furniture was of oak, so the present altar presumably dates from a later re-ordering. The oak nave benches are presumably original. The windows are clear glazed apart from the large west window which has predominantly yellow glazing representing a sunburst.
Architect: David Brown ARIBA
Original Date: 1962
Conservation Area: Yes
Listed Grade: Not Listed