The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

North West

Adrian Gilbert Scott RC church of St Anthony listed grade II


Some good news: Adrian Gilbert Scott’s Roman Catholic church of St Anthony (1969-60), Portway, Wythenshawe, Manchester, has been listed at grade II by English Heritage. Their principal reasons for the listing are:

St Anthony's Roman Catholic Church, Wythenshaw by Adrian Gilbert Scott, listed Grade II

* Architectural interest: the church has a strong composition and imposing presence derived from its bold design and cathedral-like scale, which is enhanced by the use of elegant building materials, including narrow and very pale buff bricks, Portland stone dressings and copper roofs, and a dramatic west end incorporating a giant camel-vaulted arch containing the recessed west entrance;

* Architect: it was designed by the notable architect Adrian Gilbert Scott who trained under Temple Moore and specialised in ecclesiastical commissions for the Roman Catholic Church, and it is one of his major works;

* Interior design: the elegant interior maintains stylistic continuity with the exterior through its incorporation of Gilbert Scott’s characteristic soaring camel-vaulted arches, which are derived from ancient Persia and are successfully reinterpreted here in a modern form; rendering the arches and treating them as parabolas. The dignified space is also enhanced by a dado of buff-coloured Hornton stone that contrasts with plastered walls above, and tall windows that serve to maximise light;

* Interior quality: the interior decoration is kept to a minimum overall to enable the beauty of the building to be fully expressed, but the furnishings are of a high quality, including inset Stations of the Cross, an unusual carved wall pulpit, and an elaborate marble, gilded and mosaic work baldacchino

Aidan Turner Bishop, C20 NW