Cathedral Church of St Philip.
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The Cathedral Church of Saint Philip is the Church of England cathedral and the seat of the Bishop of Birmingham. Built as a parish church and consecrated in 1715, St Philip’s became the cathedral of the newly-formed Diocese of Birmingham in the West Midlands in 1905. St Philip’s was built in the early 18th century in the Baroque style by Thomas Archer and is located on Colmore Row, Birmingham, England. The cathedral is a Grade I listed building. St Philip’s is the third smallest cathedral in England after Derby and Chelmsford.
St Philip’s was designed by Thomas Archer and constructed between 1711 and 1715, with the tower being complete by 1725, and the urns on the parapet added in 1756. Thomas Archer had visited Rome and his design, in the Baroque style, is influence by the churches of Borromini, being rather more Italianate than churches by Christopher Wren. The rectangular hall church interior has aisles separated from the nave by fluted pillars of classical form with Tuscan capitals supporting an arcade surmounted by a heavily projecting cornice. Wooden galleries are stretched between the pillars in a manner typical of English Baroque churches.
Externally the building is surrounded by tall windows between pilasters of low relief, supporting a balustrade at roof level with an urn rising above each pilaster. The western end is marked by a single tower which rises in stages and is surmounted by a lead-covered dome and delicate lantern. The building is of brick and is faced with stone quarried on Thomas Archer’s estate at Umberslade.
The original shallow eastern apse was extended in 1884-8 by J. A. Chatwin into a much larger chancel, articulated by strongly projecting Corinthian columns. This bold design is made richer by the marbled surfaces of the columns and pilasters, the gilding of capitals and cornice and the ornately-coffered ceiling. Chatwin also refaced the exterior of the building because the stone from the original quarry was very soft. The tower was refaced in 1958-59.
Edward Burne-Jones, who was born in nearby Bennett’s Hill and baptized in the church, added to the enhancement of St Philips by the donation of several windows, of which three are at the eastern end. The west window, also by Burne-Jones, was dedicated in memory of Bishop Bowlby in 1897. (wikipedia)