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Latitude: 52.4428 / 52°26'34"N
Longitude: -1.8559 / 1°51'21"W
OS Eastings: 409890
OS Northings: 282771
OS Grid: SP098827
Mapcode National: GBR 6BQ.46
Mapcode Global: VH9Z3.SV6P
Entry Name: Sparkhill United Church, Including Church Rooms to Rear
Listing Date: 10 February 2003
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1096067
English Heritage Legacy ID: 490033
Location: Birmingham, B13
Electoral Ward/Division: Springfield
Built-Up Area: Birmingham
Traditional County: Worcestershire
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Midlands
Church of England Parish: Springfield
Church of England Diocese: Birmingham
997/0/10416 STRATFORD ROAD
10-FEB-03 Sparkhill United Church, including chu
rch rooms to rear
Congregational church. 1932-3 by W H Bidlake. Red brick with gabled plain tile roofs.
PLAN: 4-bay aisled nave, with apsidal east end and west porch. Church hall buildings extend to rear.
EXTERIOR: Romanesque style, incorporating Moderne and Domestic Revival elements. W front comprises a tall central bay clasped by lower flanking bays. The latter have clasped buttresses, terminating in ashlar blocks below 2-light windows with plain capitals to stone shafts; Lombard frieze, with corbelled soffits to ashlar corner blocks. Central bay has double-leaf doors in plain ashlar surround, with relief foliate carving flanking date plaque in tympanum. The whole is set within a deep arch with decorative tile and brickwork. Quatrefoil-carved roundels above tall 3-bay arcade, with plain capitals to shafts, the large rose window behind being set in a recessed wall. The central bay is continued upwards with clasped buttresses and a Lombard frieze. Paired round-arched metal casements with switch tracery to leaded lights in side elevations, which have gabled bays and linking aisles formed as lean-tos. Canted east end.
INTERIOR: 4-bay aisled nave with broad pointed-arched ribs to vaulted ceiling. West screen has dentilled cornice over leaded lights in upper glazed panels. The central two arches of the aisles have 2-light windows set above double arches with central ashlar column. Tall arch to sanctuary, which has panelled wall with 2-light windows above having ashlar columns to rerearches. Bolection-panelled pulpit. Benches with panelled backs and shouldered ends. West window has central Christ in Majesty framed by roundels of winged cherubim. Memorial window showing Flight to Egypt to Rev. John Bolton Petts, d. 1934.
SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: Church Hall buildings attached to rear, in similar materials and in overall asymmetrical Domestic Revival style with gabled and half-hipped roofs.
HISTORY: A fine example of early 20th century nonconformist church architecture. It was designed by W H Bidlake, a Birmingham-based architect who is best known for the prominent role that he played in the development of the Arts and Crafts movement. This church is a late example of his work and, in contrast to his other Gothic church work, represents a bold essay in the Romanesque style. It is a bold composition which is also distinguished by studious attention to detail, such as the carved stonework and tilework to the striking entrance porch, Bidlake drawing on native and north Italian architectural traditions.
Bryan Little, Birmingham Buildings: The Architectural Story of a Midland City. Newton Abbot, 1971.
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