Thursday, January 13, 2011

Rothwell Congregational Church: Pevsner nods

Pevsner goes into raptures over Holy Trinity, Rothwell, discussing it for three pages. It is a large church that used to be even larger, though no one seems sure quite how, and has a bone crypt that I shall have to visit it one day.

But the building I really wanted to see is not in the first edition of Pevsner at all. I had glimpsed it many times, as it faces side-on to a drive that leads off one of the main roads out of town. Perhaps that explains why Pevsner missed it. Stella & Rose's Books describes his methods:
during the Easter and Summer breaks, as this was the only time Pevsner could afford to take out from his other commitments, he would travel around the countryside in a car driven by his wife Karola. They would drive from dawn until dusk with Pevsner scribbling on a clipboard, then that same evening Pevsner would write the first draft.
Clearly, Karola took Fox Street, Rothwell, at to fast a lick for him to spot the town's Congregational Church.

That church is the right-hand building in the photograph above. Now a United Reformed Church, it dates from 1735 with later additions up to 1852. You can read a full description on British Listed Buildings, but it is clear that this church's real glory is its interior - it "has a simple facade but has a remarkable interior in a sophisticated classical style" says Wikipedia - so I shall have to go back.

But I was rather taken with the other building in the photo, which is a Sunday school that dates from late in the 19th century. It is essentially a red-brick industrial building - the rear, with its bricked-up windows, looks like a mill that has fallen on hard times - but it was given an ironstone frontage in a loosely defined Gothic to make it respectable enough to face the church.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this photo. I recently inherited an 19th century family album which contains a photo of the building on the right. It was not identified but is clearly the same building you have shown as "Sunday school" building. Sarah in New Jersey, USA