Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Date first listed:
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Lancaster (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SD 48104 61511



SD4861 ST PETER'S ROAD 1685-1/5/292 (East side) 10/11/94 Cathedral Church of St Peter


Roman Catholic cathedral, originally a parish church. 1857-59 and 1895-96. By Edward Paley, with a later baptistry by Paley and Austin. Gothic Revival style. Sandstone ashlar and slate roofs, except for the baptistry roof which is of copper. A tall aisled 5-bay nave with transepts, an aisled 2-bay chancel with a semi-octagonal apse and side chapels, a tower and spire in the north-west corner and an octagonal baptistry attached to the north transept. The west facade has a 5-light window with Geometric tracery, and below it is a deeply recessed doorway with 2 shafts with foliated capitals and orders of crockets and fleurons in the arch. The side elevations have 3-light aisle windows with Decorated tracery and paired clerestory windows flanked by blind arches. The north transept has a 4-light window with Geometric tracery, while the south transept has a round window composed of a 10-light wheel window surrounded by 10 circles. The clerestory windows of the chancel are spherical triangles, while the tall 3-light windows in the apse have Decorated tracery. The baptistry is slightly more decorated, with 2-light windows with panelled tracery and deep buttresses. The tower has 4 stages, separated by string courses, and a stair turret in the north-west corner. The lowest stage has, on the west side, a 3-light window with intersecting tracery and, on the north side, a recessed porch under a shallow gable, over which is a canopied niche containing a statue of St Peter. The second stage has on each face a row of 6 gabled and shafted arches, of which only the central 2 have windows. The third stage contains a single small window, while the belfry stage has paired openings, each containing 2 sub-arches. The graceful spire rises to a height of 73m, with 3 tiers of lucarnes on the cardinal faces. INTERIOR: 5-bay nave with 2-centred arches of 2 orders of quarter-round mouldings carried on slender round columns with foliated capitals and high octagonal plinths. Directly above each arch is a pair of clerestory windows, whose cusped rear-arches are supported by a central colonnette. Between these windows other colonnettes on foliated corbels carry the principal trusses of the arch-braced roof. The aisles have simple, steeply-pitched rafter roofs. On the south are 2 chantry chapels, each approached through a pair of arches. The arches north and south of the crossing are slightly higher than those of the nave and have clustered shafts. The chancel arch, also with clustered shafts, is much higher and rises to the ridge of the wooden vault of the chancel. This is painted with arabesques and angels and has tierceron ribs and foliated bosses, except for the one over the original position of the high altar, now moved to the west bay of the chancel, which shows Christ in Majesty. On the south and north sides pairs of arches lead respectively to the Convent Chapel and to the Lady Chapel, whose wooden panelled ceiling is painted with fleurs-de-lys and crowns. Above them, but beneath the clerestory windows, is a deep band of painting representing on the south Our Lady enthroned and surrounded by female saints and on the north St Peter and male saints. Around the base of the apse are 2 rows of 5 gabled canopies containing paintings of other saints, with angel musicians above. The carved oak choir stalls have crocketed canopies. The baptistry, approached through fine wrought-iron gates flanked by niches under nodding ogee heads containing statues, has an octagonal stone vault. The floor and font are of polychrome marble, the font bowl being supported on 4 short columns. The oak font cover is a spirelet suspended from a chain. In the south transept is a triptych, by Giles Gilbert Scott, in which the carved and painted panels represent scenes from the Passion. (In 1909 this was the reredos of the high altar.) At the west end of the north aisle is a large seated bronze figure of St Peter. The west gallery contains an organ. The glass in the apse windows and in the west window is original and by Hardman, showing the Ascension and St Peter and St Paul in the east and Christ in Glory at the west. The church is the finest and dominant feature of an important group, also containing a graveyard, school, convent and presbytery (qv), which was built between 1847 and 1859.

Listing NGR: SD4810461511


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

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This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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Date: 15 Oct 2000
Reference: IOE01/02653/03
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Charles Satterly. Source Historic England Archive
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