Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Pugin's Gem

St Giles, Cheadle
(Canon EOS 60D, Tamron 10-24mm @ 10mm, 1/25s @ f/4.0, ISO 1600)

The Roman Catholic church of St Giles in Cheadle, Staffordshire is known as Pugin's Gem. The great Victorian architect, A. W. N. Pugin was best known for his Gothic style buildings. He was commissioned and financed by John Talbot, 16th Earl of Shrewsbury. Pugin had carried out extensive work at Talbot's home, Alton Towers (yes, that one). Pugin was determined that St Giles would be a perfect Gothic Catholic church and, thanks to Talbot's patronage, he seems to have succeeded. The interior of the church is jaw-droppingly opulent. Every surface is painted in bright colours. Much gilding has been used and the best wood and stone carvers were employed to model the fittings.

The pulpit was carved by Thomas Roddis from a single block of stone from the Alton Towers estate.

There are many superb stained glass windows by William Wailes of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Note the intricately painted walls surrounding the window.

The high altar and reredos were also carved by Thomas Roddis. Above is a "Jesse" window depicting the life of Christ, an unusual theme in a Victorian church, and to the right is the Sedilia where the Priest, Deacon and Sub-deacon would sit. The encaustic floor tiles were made by the Potteries firm of Minton.

It is amazing that a small market town in North Staffordshire should have such a magnificent church. Visit it if you can!

1 comment:

  1. Not only a stunning church but perfectly captured. A tour de force.