Retford St Alban

Official Listing Description

SK 70900 80589






The Church of St Alban

Grade II

Church. 1902-13, chancel, nave and aisles; west end completed in 1931. Priest's vestry of 1970's. By Charles Hodgson Fowler. Limestone ashlar with stone dressings, extension of brick. Plain-tile roof and stone-coped gables with finials. Slate roof to tall spirelet. Plan of chancel with north transept and south Lady chapel, and nave with aisles. Perpendicular style. Chancel has 5-light east window and windows high up to the south side over the Lady chapel which has a 3-light east window and 3 2-light south windows. North transept has a rose window over small lower windows. The fine octagonal spirelet is on the western corner of this has a top stage with cusped narrow louvre openings and a spire with finial. The 5-bay nave has aisles with small windows and stepped buttresses, those to north rising from a prominent roadside plinth. Tall 3-light clerestory windows above. West end has stepped angle buttresses and a fine traceried 5-light window over a moulded west doorway which is approached up a wide flight of steps with metal railings. INTERIOR. Chancel has stained glass in east window of 1905 by C. Kempe of Christ in Majesty and saints. Below is a fine and elaborate reredos of 1908 designed by Fowler and made by Bowman of Stamford. Reredos is of oak and the figures of the Crucifixion and saints are in pine and were carved by Bridgeman of Lichfield. Chancel has a wagon roof and a low stone screen and steps. Fine furnishings include clergy desks with poppyhead finials and carved animal armrests and three rows of choir stalls. Hexagonal stone font with open tracery panels and coved foot is integral to south east arcade arch. Brass eagle lectern. Lady chapel has window installed in 1976. Nave has impressive arch-braced roof with finely moulded collars. Arcades have quatrefoil piers with moulded capitals from which rise tall double-chamfered arches. Octagonal stone font with bowl supported on a clustered stem and an oak strapwork cover.

This is a fine-quality church by an architect who was well-known not only throughout the North of england and the Midlands but also elswhere. It uses the site well with a robust aisle wall fronting directly onto the adjacent lane and has an effective outline to this north front with a tall transept and elegant spirelet. The south side is treated differently with a Lady chapel and chancel windows above. This differing treatment makes for an effective chancel inside it also retains fine furnishings and stained glass. The nave is tall and impressive with large clerestory windows above moulded arcades. The whole of the interior is of stone it has fine roofs. Although the west front of 1931 is simpler than originally intended it is perhaps more effective with a large window over the long flight of steps up to the west door with prominent buttresses either side. This church also forms part of a significant group of historic buildings to either side and opposite.