St Ignatius Centre, Ordsall Salford

Salford Hope Centre

The former Church St Ignatius of Antioch Ordsall Salford

About the Former Church of St Ignatius of Antioch Ordsall Salford

Historical Background

The former Church St Ignatius of Antioch was constructed in 1900 to the designs of Darbyshire & Smith, while the attached rectory was added in 1904. Both buildings were built as part of the New Barracks Estate, Salford, which was built between 1900-1904 on the site of a former early C19 infantry barracks. The estate was Salford Corporation's first housing scheme and provided not only housing but also community buildings, including Salford Girls' Institute (destroyed during WWII), Salford Lads' Club (1903, Grade II) and the Church of St Ignatius. These buildings were constructed on land owned by the Corporation, but were funded by private individuals; the Church of St Ignatius was built under the patronage of Wilbraham Egerton (1832-1909), 1st Earl Egerton and Viscount Salford.

In the 1990s the church's chancel was separated off internally from the main body of the building and worship was transferred to the chancel due to a dwindling congregation. In March 1995, the attached Rectory to the former St Ignatius Church was sold for £1 to a private developer “A Read Limited” by the Diocese of Manchester (Diocesan Board of Finance). However, the former St Ignatius Rectory had stood vacant since then without any form of maintenance. The former Church of St Ignatius was finally closed in 2002 and was deconsecrated in 2004. The former St Ignatius Church is aligned north-west - south-east with a tall nave and lower side aisles under separate roofs, an apsidal chancel and a tall south-west tower.

It is understood that Graham Nash, an original member of the pop group The Hollies, which was formed in Manchester in the early 1960s, begun his musical career in the choir at the Church of St Ignatius. Similarly, Philip Yorke 111, the last surviving owners of the ‘Erdding’ regularly performed at the former St Ignatius Church.

The former Church St Ignatius of Antioch Ordsall Salford

So Beautiful and so Neglected


The Former Church of St Ignatius of Antioch is a Grade II listed building. The church is little altered externally, and although some internal alteration has taken place, this has not compromised the special character and architectural significant of the building. However, the attached Rectory is not listed. Although the exterior of the attached former Rectory of the Church of St Ignatius remains little altered, the interior has incurred significant alteration, which has led to the loss of virtually of all the building's original features.

The former Church St Ignatius of Antioch Ordsall Salford

Exterior Description

The former St Ignatius Church building has a distinctive Romanesque design that is well articulated with richly detailed friezes, arcading, decorative tympanums, round-headed windows set within elegant surrounds, and elaborate west entrances. The building has continuous hoodmoulds to the windows and doors, and most elevations incorporate buttresses and cross finials. Some of the windows retain their original, diamond-patterned, leaded glazing. The chancel apse and tower retain their original slate roofs, while the remaining parts of the church have replaced concrete tile roofs.

The church's west end faces St Ignatius Walk and consists of the nave's west gable end, which is flanked by lower, lean-to, side aisles; all incorporating Lombard friezes below the eaves. The nave's east gable end also incorporates a Lombard frieze but is largely hidden from view by the chancel. The west entrance projects slightly under a gable and comprises an arched, terracotta surround of three orders with a carved tympanum depicting peacocks, which symbolise eternal life, and a recessed door.

Above are three, tall windows incorporating paired, round-headed lights separated by half-columns with worn, carved capitals and roundels above, all set within arched surrounds; that to the centre is raised slightly so that it rises above the gabled entrance. Set to the nave's gable apex is a much smaller version of the west windows with a plain central mullion. The side aisles are lit by large, similarly styled, round-headed windows with plain mullions, which are also replicated to the church's side chapels at the east end. Due to the in-filling of much of a yard area to the south side of the church, which formerly separated the church from the rectory, some of the south aisle's windows on this side have been blocked up, and one has been converted into a doorway accessing the later extension.

Attached to the right of the south side aisle is a tall, four-stage, south-west tower with the upper stages separated by cornices. The tower has a west entrance, which is similarly styled to that to the nave, but with the addition of a terracotta roundel containing a Canterbury-style cross. The tower's second stage incorporates a single round-headed window to each face, while the third stage has paired windows set within shared arched surrounds incorporating raised brickwork tympanums. The belfry has triple-arched openings to each face with a Lombard frieze below the eaves. The whole is topped by a pyramidal slate roof surmounted by a cross finial.

The church's five-bay nave has a clerestory formed by triple-light, round-headed windows with the continuous hoodmoulds giving the appearance of arcading. The chancel has a near full-height, semi-circular apse lit by round-headed windows incorporating paired lights separated by half-columns with stiff-leaf capitals and with roundels to the centre above, all set within arched surrounds. Flanking the chancel, and set at a right angle to it, are small, side chapels. Attached to the south side-chapel is a vestry, which is lower in height and is lit by small, round-headed windows to the east wall and two windows in the same style as those to the side chapels to the south gable end. Beneath is a full basement.

The former St Ignatius Rectory is constructed of stock brick with mainly pressed brick dressings, including window surrounds and quoining, concrete tile roof set on two and three storeys. The rectory has been uninhabited since 1988. A planning application which expired in 2010 was granted to for the conversion of the Rectory into five flats.

The former Church St Ignatius of Antioch Ordsall Salford

Interior Description

Internally, the church continues the Romanesque styling and contains good quality features, fixtures and fittings, including polished granite and pink sandstone piers, glazed tile dados, a Caen stone and polished granite font, a carved timber reredos containing a painting of the Last Supper, and arcading in the chancel apse containing highly decorative mosaic work. The interior also benefits from quarry tile, parquet and floorboard floors. The walls are mostly plastered with a brown glazed tile dado to the nave and side aisles.

The plaster on the walls of the bell tower entrance has been removed leaving exposed brick. The entrance has painted, diagonal rib-vaulting to the ceiling with a central carved boss, above which is the timber floor of the tower room above. A door accesses the tower's stone spiral stair in the south-west corner. An adjacent, recessed doorway provides access into the former rectory, and both have cast-iron lintels. A wide, round-headed opening to the east wall of the tower entrance accesses a semi-circular apsidal recess, which is lit by three round-headed windows and forms the baptistery. The baptistery contains a Caen stone font with a polished granite shaft. A carved, terracotta, round-headed opening with later inserted doors provides access into the main body of the church.

The nave roof is panelled and incorporates a series of queen-post, arched-braced roof trusses. Five-bay, round-headed nave arcades are supported by pink sandstone nave piers with carved cushion capitals and tall bases. The easternmost bays on each side was bricked-up in the 1990s, and the chancel arch has been sealed off to separate the chancel. A brick wall has also been inserted at the east end of the south side aisle, creating a lobby area by the south side-chapel entrance. The clerestory windows are arcaded with red sandstone columns that are similarly styled to the nave piers.

Both side aisles have king-post trusses supported by stone and timber corbels with curved angle braces. The surviving part of the top section of the church's pulpit has been placed at the west end of the aisle. At the east end of the north, side-aisle is an internal terracotta window incorporating round-headed lights and a roundel; behind which is the north side-chapel. One of the windows in the south side aisle has been converted into a doorway, which accesses the parish rooms, including a kitchen, and the rectory.

The two-bay chancel, like the nave, also has a panelled roof incorporating trusses and has arcade piers of polished red granite with pink sandstone bases and capitals. In front of the altar apse are timber and wrought-iron (partly gilded) altar rails incorporating foliage decoration. The semi-circular apse has a half-domed ceiling, which is painted blue with gold stars. The three east windows retain their original leaded glazing incorporating some stained glass, including Christian monograms and symbols. Running around the apse wall beneath the windows is a red sandstone and polished granite arcade with coloured and gilded mosaics by Jabez Thompson of Northwich depicting vases of varying design containing lilies, surmounted by a panel of green glazed tiles.

Attached to the centre of the apse wall is a carved timber reredos containing a painted panel depicting the Last Supper, which is said to have been painted by Nancy Mitford. A plain, free-standing, timber altar lies in front. The side chapels have scissor-rafter roofs incorporating to the south side a First World War memorial timber screen attached to its south wall and a plain doorway leading into the vestry.

The former Church St Ignatius of Antioch Ordsall SalfordAreas of church and opposite side of bell tower affected by dry rot, hence structural bracing provided

Save this Endangered Heritage

Former St Ignatius Church Building was named in 2009 by the Victorian Society as one of the 10 most endangered Victorian and Edwardian buildings in England and Wales. The building has also been named by Save Britain’s Heritage in their Buildings at Risk Register.

The building is a source of pride and identity and a reminder of Ordsall community’s culture and complexity. The building is an inseparable part of Ordsall community’s tangible past and can offer excellent opportunities for the community’s culture and economic future.

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Planned Activities from the Building

The project will host activities catering for all sections of the community, with strong focus on; Community-based arts, Culture, Fitness classes, Health and wellbeing sessions, Advice and counseling surgeries, Music therapy, Employability skills training, Apprenticeships and traineeships, Active citizenship, Refugee and asylum support, and adult social care.

It will also be a hub for raising the aspirations and opportunities of young people as well as provide support to reduce isolation and loneliness for older people.

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Unit 96 Cariocca Business Park
2 Sawley Road
M40 8BB

Telephone: 0300 302 1639



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