St. Philip's Cathedral, Birmingham

St. Philip's Cathedral, Birmingham

Infobox UK cathedral
building_name =Birmingham Cathedral
infobox_width =

image_size =
caption =The Cathedral from the rear
map_type =
map_size =
map_caption =
location =
full_name =Cathedral Church of St. Phillips
geo =coord|52|28|52|N|1|53|56|W|display=inline,title|type:landmark_region:GB
latitude =
longitude =
county =West Midlands
country =England
ecclesiastical =yes
denomination =Church of England
province =Canterbury
diocese =Birmingham
bishop =
dean =
organist =
website = []
building =yes
architect =Thomas Archer
architecture_type =
architecture_style =Baroque
became_cathedral =1905
number_of_cathedrals =
year_built =1710-1725
year_consecrated =
specifications =
capacity =
length =
length_nave =
length_choir =
width_transepts =
width_nave =
height_max =
height_nave =
height_choir =
tower_quantity =
tower_height =
spire_quantity =
spire_height =
dome_quantity =
dome_height_ex =
dome_height_in =
dome_dia_ex =
dome_dia_in =

St Philip's Cathedral is a Church of England cathedral, in Colmore Row, Birmingham, England, dedicated to St Philip.

It is surrounded by a churchyard with graves, which is no longer open for new burials. The churchyard is used by members of the public in the summer as a picnic area or to meet friends. [ Emo-motion in 'Pigeon Park'] - BBC Birmingham, Ben Walker] Owing to the large number of pigeons that frequent the churchyard and roost on the mid rise buildings surrounding it, the surrounding green space has been referred to as "pigeon park". The churchyard covers an area of four acres.cite book|title=A concise history of Birmingham|author=R. Jabet|coauthors=J.P.Lucas|year=1808|publisher=R. Jabet]


The land on which the building is built was amongst the highest in the area and was named "The Barley Close".cite book| title=The Cathedral Churches of England - Their Architecture, History and Antiquities - with Bibliography, Itinerary and Glossary |author=Helen Marshall Pratt |pages=89 |year=2007 |publisher=READ BOOKS |isbn=1406757209] It was donated by Robert Philips, after whom the church is named, in 1710. It was said to be at the same level as the cross on St Paul's Cathedral in London. Following an Act of Parliament, construction commenced in 1711. It was completed in 1715 as a parish church when St Martin's was insufficient for Birmingham's growing population, designed in the then-fashionable Baroque style by architect Thomas Archer. Construction was estimated to cost £20,000, however, the final figure was only £5,012. This was because many of the materials were donated and transported to the site at no cost. The urns on the parapet were not added until 1756. Until 1751, the church tower had a peal of six bells, which was enlarged to ten.

The church contained a theological library which was bequeathed to the church by the Revd William Higgs. In 1792, a library room was constructed next to the parsonage house by the Revd Spencer Madan and was named the Parochial Library.

It was enlarged in the late 19th century by J.A. Chatwin. It gained cathedral status in 1905, when the Diocese of Birmingham was created (Birmingham was made a city in 1889). The first bishop was Charles Gore, Bishop of Worcester.

Built of brick and faced with stone quarried on Thomas Archer's estate at Umberslade, it has four stained glass windows by Sir Edward Burne-Jones (who was born in nearby Bennett's Hill and baptized in the church), and is the third smallest cathedral in England after Derby and Chelmsford. [ [] ] The west window, designed by Burne-Jones, was dedicated in memory of Bishop Bowlby in 1897.

World War II

During the Second World War, The Birmingham Civic Society were responsible for saving the Burne-Jones windows of the Cathedral from exposure to bomb damage, by having them removed and later reinstalled. In the interim, most of the other windows were blown out by heavy bombing and so it may be said that the continued existence of these fine windows is due to the foresight and prompt action of the Society.


The Cathedral is a Grade I listed building, with six other listed monuments in the churchyard, including one commemorating two men who died during the construction of Birmingham Town Hall and a memorial to the victims of the Birmingham pub bombings. A statue of Charles Gore is located at the entrance. Upon completion of the building, it was decided that monuments should be prohibited from being added to the interior.


The organ underwent an extensive reparation during the late-18th century by the London-based organ builders England.

[ Details of the organ at the National Pipe Organ Register]



See also

*List of cathedrals in the United Kingdom
*St Chad's (Catholic)
*Dormition of the Mother of God and St Andrew (Greek Orthodox)
*Provosts of Birmingham Cathedral


External links

* [ St Philip's Cathedral official site]
* [ Looking at Buildings - Pevsner Guides - Birmingham]
*IoEentry|217576|Images of England - details from listed building text
* [ 1890 Ordnance Survey map of the cathedral (a church at the time)]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • St. Chad's Cathedral, Birmingham — The Cathedral Basilica of Saint Chad is the seat of the Roman Catholic Province of Birmingham, England, a province of the Catholic Church in Great Britain. It is dedicated to Saint Chad of Mercia. It was the first Roman Catholic cathedral to be… …   Wikipedia

  • Birmingham Orthodox Cathedral — Dormition of the Mother of God and St Andrew …   Wikipedia

  • Birmingham City Centre — is the business hub of the city of Birmingham, United Kingdom. According to the Parkinson Masterplan of Birmingham, published in 2007, the city centre is defined as being the area within the A4540 road.cite web|… …   Wikipedia

  • Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery — Established 1885 Location Chamberlain Square, Birmingham Visitor …   Wikipedia

  • Birmingham Coach Station — The station at night Other name Digbeth Coach Station Location …   Wikipedia

  • Birmingham New Street railway station — Birmingham New Street redirects here. For the actual street, see New Street, Birmingham. Birmingham New Street …   Wikipedia

  • Birmingham Moor Street railway station — Birmingham Moor Street Restored GWR entrance to Moor Street, 2006 Location …   Wikipedia

  • Birmingham School of Art — School of Art and Design Building, Margaret Street Type Art school Location Birmingham, West Midlands …   Wikipedia

  • Birmingham Opera Company — is a professional opera company based in the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham, England, that specialises in innovative and avant garde productions [cite web|url=,11712,933441,00.html|title= Guardian Review …   Wikipedia

  • Birmingham — This article is about the city in England. For the U.S. city named after it, see Birmingham, Alabama. For other uses, see Birmingham (disambiguation). City of Birmingham   City and Metropolitan borough   …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.