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© Mr J J Sheridan LRPS

IoE Number: 217658
Location: CHURCH OF ST AGATHA, STRATFORD ROAD
  BIRMINGHAM, BIRMINGHAM, WEST MIDLANDS
Photographer: Mr J J Sheridan LRPS
Date Photographed: 28 August 2000
Date listed: 21 January 1970
Date of last amendment: 08 July 1982
Grade I

The Images of England website consists of images of listed buildings based on the statutory list as it was in 2001 and does not incorporate subsequent amendments to the list. For the statutory list and information on the current listed status of individual buildings please go to The National Heritage List for England.

STRATFORD ROAD5104Highgate B11Church of St Agatha(formerly listed underSparkbrook)

STRATFORD ROAD 1. 5104 Highgate B11 Church of St Agatha (formerly listed under Sparkbrook) SF 08 SE 12/59 21.1.70 I 2. 1899-1901 exaeptionally fine and original church by W E Bidlake dominated by its great tower, in a Perpendicular style freely reinterpreted in an Arts and Crafts idiom and of very fine workmanship. Fine quality red brick with stone dressings. Aisles and clerestory. The west front with vestibule porches to aisles flanking the magnificent lofty tower containing the low baptistry apse at its foot. The tower has slender octagonal corner turrets with their upper stages composed of red and white chequerwork surmounted by open work turret/pinnacles crowned by lofty original wrought iron finials. The stair turret on the south face also has an imaginatively designed top stage and in carefully proportioned to emphasise the soaring scale of the tower and the powerful belfry openings. Above the baptistry is a fine sculptured sweeping frame work to the west tower window and equally inventive sculptural and carved decoration enlivens the cambered stone arches and jambs of the flanking vestibule doorways. The Gothic of the fenestration to the aisles and clerestory is more conventional. The interior, restored after the the war and thefire of 1957, is a remarkably sophisticated original conception, faced in pale buff brick blending with the stone dressings. The arcade hood moulds have Bidlake's typical finesse of detailing, almost dying into the piers but with a scrolled curve carved over the vestigial ribs of the pier, the latter is then carved up to divide the large clerestory windows and terminating in richly and freely carved foliage corbels; the timber ribs of the roof carrying on the lines of the masonry. The chancel's pointed barrel vault is born by stone arches springing from very richly carved corbels. The sophistication of the carving and quality of the moulded detailing is consistent throughout. Bidlake's furnishings were destroyed in the 1957 fire.

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