There can be few 19th century buildings more stimulating and exciting, or more worthy of sensitive restoration than Thomas Coats Memorial Church. The attention to detail throughout the building is astonishing and the quality of craftsmanship astounding.
photo Imagine the sense of anticipation felt by the congregation when the "cathedral" was first opened in 1894. A revival of Gothic architecture on the grandest scale, the building, designed by Hippolyte Blanc, can seat a thousand people. The floor of the vestibule is a magnificent mosaic. There are marble drinking fountains at each end and a ceiling of stone ribbed cross vaults with gilded scrolls bearing quotations from the scriptures. The wealth and beauty of the foyer is only rivalled by the chancel.
Photo, Hill Organ. Courtesy National Pipe Organ Register The open baptistry is formed from black-veined white marble and is large enough for total immersion. Alabaster panels, ornately sculptured, depict events in Jesus' life. The alabaster and marble pulpit, bronze lectern and carved oak communion table exhibit craftsmanship of the highest quality. Crowning the chancel is a vaulted ceiling decorated with angels. On either side of the chancel can be seen some of the 3040 pipes of the Hill Organ which is considered to be one of the finest in Europe.
The architect's scrupulous attention to detail extends even to the toilets, which with concealed plumbing, wall tiles, mosaic floors and floral ceramic-ware by Doulton are the epitome of Victorian grandeur.
Listen to the magnificent Hill Organ ...
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