St Chad's Cathedral, Birmingham

St Chad's, the Roman Catholic Cathedral in Birmingham, is within easy walking distance from the centre of the city. It is an important work of Pugin.

Pugin built St Chad's Cathedral in 1839-41, a Gothic structure in brick. The emphasis is on height - emphasised in the interior by the slender pillars. This feeling of height is the main reason for the Victorianophile (?!) to visit this Cathedral. Far up above, a painted roof. Pillars at the altar end are gilded in spirals, but most of Pugin's interior design has gone. Some of the stained glass in the Chancel is apparently Pugin's, and there is a window by Hardman in the north transept, but nothing too exciting there. Better is Pugin's surviving design for the tomb of the cathedral's founder, a certain Bishop Walsh, 1849.

There is late medieval woodwork decoration on the stalls and Bishop's throne, and the ornate pulpit, dating from the 16th Century, has good medieval figures in dark wood. The medieval animals and figures decorating the choir seats remind one of those in the House of Lords.

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