The Catholic Church of the Holy Name of Jesus, Oxford Road

(The image above is shown with the permission of the Greater Manchester Police Museum and Archive.
 If you click on this link you can see more historic images from their Flickr Photostream)

The Holy Name stands on Oxford Road near Waterhouse's Victoria University buildings.  The foundation stone of the Holy Name was laid in 1869 and the church opened on 15th October, 1871.  The architect Joseph Aloysius Hansom, the inventor of the cab that bears his name. The church he designed is 14th century French Gothic in style It is 186ft. from east to west, 112ft. from north to south and 100ft. from the floor to the inside of the vault.  The structure is brick faced inside with moulded terracotta and outside with Warwick Bridge stone. Pevsner described the design of the Holy Name as ‘..of the very highest quality and of an originality nowhere demonstrative…….Hansom never again did so marvelous a church.’

The tower as originally designed by Hansom would have been half as high again as the present tower, but was not built due to poor ground conditions under the foundations. The original building therefore looked much less impressive.

In 1928 the tower you see today was added as a memorial to Father Bernard Vaughan S.J., Rector of the Holy Name from 1888 to 1901. It is 185ft. high and contains a chime of 15 bells by Gillet and Johnson.  The church's web sites says of the bells that, "a new mechanism was installed in 1995 and plays automatically the Angelus and some twenty hymn tunes as well as bell ringing before Mass etc. There is also a keyboard for manual operation."

The image above is shown with the permission of Chethams Library.

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