Presbytery of the Roman Catholic Church of St Mary (The Hidden Gem)

Overview

Heritage Category: Listed Building

Grade: II

List Entry Number: 1457463

Date first listed: 27-Sep-2018

Statutory Address: 17 Mulberry Street, Manchester, M2 6LN

Map

Ordnance survey map of Presbytery of the Roman Catholic Church of St Mary (The Hidden Gem)
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1457463 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 23-Jan-2019 at 01:21:39.

Location

Statutory Address: 17 Mulberry Street, Manchester, M2 6LN

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

District: Manchester (Metropolitan Authority)

Parish: Non Civil Parish

National Grid Reference: SJ8375598186

Summary

Presbytery, 1870s in Venetian Gothic style. The 1960s extension is not of special interest and is excluded from the listing.

Reasons for Designation

The presbytery of the Roman Catholic Church of St Mary (The Hidden Gem), Mulberry Street, Manchester, of the 1870s, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest: * an aesthetically pleasing building designed in a Venetian Gothic style which complements the church and was a fashionable style of its date, being used particularly for civic buildings and commercial warehouses in Manchester;

* the presbytery interior retains qood-quality fittings, such as enriched cornices, stained glass and etched glass panels in the public areas and main reception rooms, and notably, a fine, full-height open well staircase with elaborate balustrade and newel posts.

Historic interest: * the presbytery dates from the 1870s when a major investment was made in St Mary (The Hidden Gem), which also included the high-quality embellishment of the church interior and exterior with the addition of the main carved doorway from Germany, resulting in the appellation of ‘The Hidden Gem’;

* the presbytery has an attached memorial meeting room built over the south aisle of the church, also accessible from the church, which commemorates those members of the congregation who lost their lives participating in the First World War.

Group value: * the presbytery has a functional and visual group value with the attached St Mary (The Hidden Gem).

History

The present St Mary's was the second Catholic church to be founded in Manchester, being completely rebuilt from the foundations between 1844 and 1848 after the partial collapse of the original church, built in 1794. The new church was designed by Weightman & Hadfield in a Rhenish Romanesque style, including features such as a helm tower, polychromatic stone and brickwork, and a Lombardic frieze. The church was opened on 19 October 1848. It is not known whether the original presbytery remained unaltered. During the 1870s there was a major investment in embellishing the church. Additionally, the adjacent presbytery was built or remodelled with a new Venetian Gothic façade. It is not known who the architect was, but it was a style popular in Manchester during the 1860s and 1870s, used for example by Thomas Worthington for his City Police and Sessions Courts, Minshull Street, of 1867-1873 (now part of the Crown Court), Edward Salomons’ Reform Club, King Street, of 1870-1871, and commercial warehouses such as numbers 66-68 Fountain Street of 1868 by Clegg & Knowles. An oratory was formed over the end of the south aisle of the church, which could be reached from the presbytery.

After the First World War a large memorial meeting room was constructed above the south aisle of the church accessible from the second floor of the presbytery, and also an internal stairwell in the church tower.

Details

Presbytery, 1870s in Venetian Gothic style. The 1960s extension is not of special interest and is excluded from the listing.

MATERIALS: orange brick with sandstone and coloured stone dressings and slate roof.

PLAN: the presbytery is attached to the east side (liturgical south side) of the church with the front elevation facing onto Mulberry Street. It is of three storeys with a basement. A full-height staircase rises through the building, lit by a top lantern, with a doorway off at the first quarter landing level into the oratory in the south aisle of the church. At second-floor level a doorway gives access into the long meeting room inserted above the south aisle of the church.

EXTERIOR: the presbytery is built of orange brick in Flemish bond with yellow and red sandstone and grey stone dressings, and a hipped slate roof. The front elevation is of two bays and three storeys with a basement. It has a high, moulded stone plinth incorporating the round heads of two basement windows, a wide, moulded string band with pennant detail at first-floor level, a plain, narrower band at second-floor level, and an eaves entablature with shaped consoles and bosses. The ground floor has a window to the left and doorway to the right with a single hoodmould rising in an arch over each and terminating to right and left in carved head stops. The window itself is round-headed with two pointed-arch lights with a central, engaged red stone column with foliate capital and stained glass roundel above. There is a foliate-carved impost band and banded red and grey voussoirs with a yellow keystone. The pointed-arch lights have one-over-one pane sashes with etched lower panes. The doorway has flanking, engaged red stone columns with foliate capitals and a shaped stone lintel above which is a plain round-headed overlight with banded red and grey voussoirs and a keystone carved with a relief head. The first floor has an oriel window to the left and a window to the right. The canted oriel window is constructed of yellow sandstone. It has a round-headed window flanked by two smaller, round-headed windows in the returns. The window to the right is round-headed with a pointed-arch hoodmould with carved head stops and banded red and grey voussoirs with a yellow keystone. Both windows have one-over-one pane sashes with leaded-light panes with red glass diamonds. The second floor has two round-headed windows with a central, engaged red stone column with foliate capital to the left and a single round-headed window to the right. There is a moulded hood string with round arches over each of the windows, which have red and grey stone voussoirs and yellow keystones. The windows have one-over-one pane sashes.

The 1960s extension incorporating a covered walkway linking Mulberry Street with Tasle Alley to the rear is not included in the listing.

INTERIOR: the small entrance lobby has an enriched cornice and an elaborately panelled inner door with etched glass to the upper half and a rectangular, richly-coloured stained glass overlight. The public areas and main reception rooms on the ground and first floors have enriched cornices and archways opening off the stair hall have elaborate console brackets. The front, ground-floor room has an enriched hoodmould over the window with a stained glass roundel and central, engaged column separating the two pointed-arch lights, which contain etched glass panels. An open well staircase rises full-height and is lit by a circular top lantern. The closed-string stair has a timber balustrade with a moulded, ramped handrail with decorative, pierced baluster panels set between column balusters and varied, enriched column and square newel posts with ball finials. A round-headed doorway opens off the first quarter landing into the oratory in the church.

A doorway at second-floor level opens into a large room built as a First World War memorial room over the south aisle of the church. The clerestory windows are visible on the west side. Stone corbels support timber trusses with shaped braces and raised tie-beams, with clerestory windows and a fully-glazed pitched roof.

MAPPING NOTE: the large meeting room built over the south aisle of the church forms part of the listing for the presbytery, although its raised position means that it cannot be mapped.

Sources

Books and journals
Hartwell, C, Pevsner Architectural Guides: Manchester, (2001), 176-178

End of official listing