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English Church Architecture.


THORNABY-ON-TEES, St. Paul  (NZ 451 176),


(Bedrock:  Triassic Sherwood Sandstone Group, undifferentiated sandstones.)


Another inexpensive church by Mallinson and Healey with one of Healey's characteristic roofs.




One of the subjects examined by this web-site is the near-complete oeuvre of a little-known but regionally dominant, mid-nineteenth century architectural firm specialising in ecclesiastical work, in order to discover how they built their local reputation, how they maintained a financially competitive edge and sustained a very busy practice with few or no staff, and what 'success' looked like in terms of monetary reward and the provincial architect's acquired position in Victorian society.  The firm chosen is the partnership between James Mallinson and Thomas Healey (fl. 1845-62/3), who worked out of offices in Halifax and Bradford.  The majority of the extant church buildings for which the partners were responsible are listed below and should ideally be examined in chronological order.  They are:

  1.  Queensbury, Holy Trinity (Bradford)  (1843)  (Mallinson alone) 19. East Keswick, St. Mary Magdalene (Leeds) (1856)
  2.  Wyke, St. Mary (Bradford)  (1844)  (Mallinson alone) 20. Claremount, St. Thomas (Calderdale) (1857)
  3.  Clayton, St. John the Baptist (Bradford) (1846) 21. Clifton, St. John (Calderdale) (1857)
  4.  Baildon, St. John the Baptist (Bradford) (1846) 22. Salterhebble, All Saints (Calderdale) (1857)
  5.  Manningham, St. Paul (Bradford) (1846) 23. Thornaby-on-Tees, St. Paul (Stockton-on-Tees) (1857)
  6.  Mytholmroyd, St. Michael (Calderdale) (1847) 24. Thornhill Lees, Holy Innocents (Wakefield) (1858)
  7. Bankfoot, St. Matthew (Bradford) (1848) 25. Bugthorpe, St. Andrew (East Riding) (1858) (nave only)
  8. Shelf, St. Michael & All Angels (Bradford) (1848) 26. Bowling, St. Stephen (Bradford) (1859)
  9. South Ossett, Christ Church (Wakefield) (1850) 27. Girlington, St. Phillip (Bradford) (1859)
10. Barkisland, Christ Church (Calderdale) (1851) 28. Lower Dunsforth, St. Mary (North Yorkshire) (1859)
11. Boroughbridge, St. James (North Yorkshire) (1851) 29. Welburn, St. John (North Yorkshire) (1859)
12. Langcliffe, St. John the Evangelist (North Yorkshire) (1851) 30. Ilkley, All Saints (Bradford) (1860) (chancel only)
13. Cundall, St. Mary & All Saints (North Yorkshire) (1852) 31. Horton, All Saints (Bradford) (1862)
14. Heptonstall, St. Thomas the Apostle (Calderdale) (1853) 32. Hepworth, Holy Trinity (Kirklees) (1862)
15. Mount Pellon, Christ Church (Calderdale) (1854) 33. Dewsbury, St. Mark (Wakefield) (1862)
16. Thorner, St. Peter (Leeds) (1854) (partial reconstruction) 34. Heaton, St. Barnabas (Bradford) (1863) (Mallinson with T.H. Healey) 
17. Withernwick, St. Alban (East Riding) (1854) (reconstruction) 35. Tockwith,  Church of the Epiphany (North Yorkshire) (1863) (as above)
18. Mappleton, All Saints (East Riding) (1855) (not the tower)  





This is a large, plain church by Mallinson and Healey, constructed 1857/58 on a site donated by Lord Harewood (anon., Thornaby-on-Tees: the Anglican Churches, The Christian Inheritance Trust, 1993, p. 16), although the tower remained a mere stump until completed by Thomas Henry and Francis Healey in 1897, to whose designs is not  clear.  The original builder was Henry Pratt and the clerk-of-the-works, Daniel Kershaw, who  both travelled up from Halifax and must presumably have lodged here.  A major subsequent alteration to the building, and one not to the better, was made in 1964 when, allegedly as a result of subsidence, the chancel was reduced to a single bay in a manner of which the Ecclesiologists would certainly not have approved.


St. Pauls consists now, therefore, of a five-bay nave (74' long by 54' wide) with independently-gabled aisles and a S. porch, a chancel with an adjoining S. chapel (also, of course, of a single bay), and a tower adjoining the N. aisle to the northeast and rising in three stages to battlements supported by diagonal buttresses.  Perhaps most striking outside is the line of three gables comprising the W. front (as illustrated above left), although the tower is impressive also with its three-light bell-openings with castellated transoms, outer lights subarcuated above trilobes, and a wheel of three trilobes in the head (as seen below right).  A corbel table formed of blank trefoil-cusped arches and a band of fleurons separate the bell-stage from the slightly projecting battlements and there are obelisk-shaped pinnacles rising at the angles.  The stone used for all parts of the building came from the local Shaw Bank Quarry (ibid., p. 17).


Windows everywhere have geometrical tracery, as is usual at this period, and was usual for Mallinson and Healey in the mid-1850s, and the aisle windows adopt two forms used alternately, both  three-light but one with two daggers and a pointed quatrefoil in the head and the other with two regular quatrefoils and a pointed quatrefoil.  The N. aisle W. window is hidden to internal view behind the organ but from the outside can be seen to be the same as its three-light southern counterpart with two trefoils and an encircled sexfoil in the head.  The four-light nave W. window has quatrefoils above the outer lights and a wheel of four trilobes in the apex, while at the other end of the church, the five-light chancel E. window has outer lights subarcuated in pairs above cinquefoils and three quatrefoils in a circle above and between.


Inside the church, the nave arcades are formed of double-flat-chamfered arches supported on octagonal piers with prominent capitals.  The arch from the S. aisle to the chapel carries two flat chamfers that die into the jambs and the arch between the chapel and the chancel is also double-flat-chamfered but borne on semi-octagonal responds.  The double-flat-chamfered arch from the N. aisle to the tower has been partially blocked and a small door leading to the vestry, inserted instead.


As with masonry coursing, the buttressing of towers, or the design of an arcade, so too Mallinson and Healey also had their favoured forms for roofs for, working as they always were to a tight budget, it was more economic to be able to turn to a few standard patterns than to devise an entirely new structure from first principles albeit their work does display a few major departures.  Roof pitches were sometimes relatively low compared to those of their more famous confrères.  Butterfield, for example, generally pitched his roofs at around 60º so that the principal rafters and tie beams together described a succession of equilateral triangles.  Healey also did this sometimes (the very different St. Stephen’s, Bowling, and All Saints’, Horton, are both examples), but a more usual angle of pitch is that employed for the chancel at Ilkley, at approximately 45º, and a few are still lower - down indeed to as little as 30º internally at Thorner, although that may simply reflect the pitch of the mediaeval roof that Healey's roof replaced.


In its essentials the partners’ preferred roof frame comprised a pair of purlins, ⅓ and ⅔ of the distance up the pitch, and arch-braced collars joining the principal rafters, yet instead of connecting the collars to the joints between the principal rafters and upper purlins (or even the principal rafters and lower purlins), the collars typically met the rafters halfway up the pitch, the reason for which may have been the simplification of the carpentry since this avoided the complicated three-way meeting of collar, purlin and principal rafter and allowed the collars to be tenoned straightforwardly into the rafters. The nave roofs at St. John the Baptist’s, Clayton, Holy Trinity, Hepworth, and here at St. Paul’s, Thornaby-on-Tees (as shown in the photograph, left) are all examples of this whereas, conversely, the collars do indeed run between the upper purlins at Mappleton and Girlington, and between the lower purlins at Wyke and Mytholmroyd. Nevertheless, in all these cases, the sole remaining component of the roof couple generally consists of a pair of 'V'-struts rising from the collar, and that can be seen to be the case here.