Saturday, 8 October 2016

Paddy's Wigwam - an exciting cathedral!

A ten-minute walk from the Anglian Cathedral is ‘Paddy's Wigwam’, the nickname affectionately given to the mother church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Liverpool. It is a perfect contrast to Giles Gilbert’s neo-Gothic.

Sir Edwin Lutyens’ 1930’s scheme here fell through for a number of reasons. Sir Frederick Gibberd designed the present Cathedral, and building began in October 1962. Inside and out the place does have a ‘60’s polytechnic campus feel about it. It is an energetic place. The concrete, seating (benches in concentric circles) and psychedelic stained glass (John Piper) all work as one big Sergeant Pepper’s scheme, appropriate given the location.

Interestingly one can get a sense of what Sir Edwin’s overall scheme may have been when descending into the crypt. This was built according to Lutyens' design, before construction stopped due to WWII.

Extract from my new book, English Cathedrals. Capturing the wonder of these very special places in 60 exciting drawings. Order via

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Thank you very much for your comments - Tim