Building Name

The Convent of Our Lady of Mercy, Cardinal Street, Oldham

1886 - 1887
Cardinal Street
GMCA, England
Alterations and Additions

THE CONVENT, OLDHAM - Extensive alterations and additions have been made to the Convent, Oldham and the work, which has extended over a period of twelve months, has been brought to a termination, the new portion being opened on Saturday last. Upon the ground floor a large refectory has been built, with passages adjoining, while the existing rooms have been considerably enlarged. The first floor of the extension consists of dormitories, corridors, and bathroom, while the chapel, which is of lofty proportions, is on the second floor, being entered from the portion previously erected. It has an elaborate open timbered, hammer-beam roof of 16th-century design, enriched with delicate tracery. The chapel walls, to a height lineable with the window bottoms, are covered with oak panelling, the head of each panel being filled in with intricate tracery, transitional in character, and the panels alternating in design. On each side of the chapel are ten stalls, the arms of each stall being filled in with quatrefoils, cinquefoils, and other enrichments, the seats being made to lift up; the miserere carvings, which are under the seats, being of exquisite workmanship, the whole varying in design and detail. At the extreme end of the chapel, adjoining the entrance, is an elegant, though boldly designed, screen, consisting of eight compartments or bays, the upper portion of each being filled in with delicate enriched tracery, the whole being crowned by a bold Perpendicular cornice. AI the other end of the chapel is the altar, a splendid piece of workmanship of Decorated Gothic design, consisting of an elaborate crocketed centre pinnacle and side pinnacles, between which are ornamental gablets filled in with rich tracery, crowned with angels, and supported by boldly designed arches resting upon clustered columns, with moulded bases and foliated capitals. The centre pinnacle, which is of richer design, and rises to a greater height than the others, overhangs a Decorated niche with groined roof, in which is the Crucifix, whilst the tabernacle, which has a brass door of rich design, stands well in front upon the altar table. The side niches are filled in with statues. The altar table, which is executed in stone, stands upon black marble columns, with enriched foliated caps and Decorated bases, the black columns producing a pleasing contrast to the principal portion, executed in oak. The whole of the chapel floor, and the principal portion of the fittings, are of light-coloured oak, whilst the stone tracery windows are filled in with stained glass, two of the windows containing representations of Oar Lady, St. Joseph, St. Angela, and St. Stanislas, the whole being of exquisite beauty, rich in colour, and harmonising in design. The brickwork has been executed by Mr. Haines; the masonry by Mr. Staley; the joiner's work and slating by Messrs. S. Ashton and Sons; plumbing, glazing, and painting by Mr. Hearne, all of Oldham. The plans of the building, and details of the altar, screen, and other fittings have been prepared by Mr. A. Banks, architect, Oldham, who has superintended the erection of the work. [Building News 22 July 1887 page 127]

In 1907 the nuns moved their convent to Werneth Grange, taking with them the woodworkk from the 1887 chapel.

Reference    Building News 18 June 1886 page xxii – tenders. Five tenders received.
Reference    Building News 22 July 1887 page 127