Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Liverpool Cathedral (Catholic) (Liverpool)

The Metropolitan Cathedral at Liverpool is one of the two outstanding cathedrals in this vibrant city to be built during the 20th century. The other is, of course, Liverpool Cathedral (Anglican).

The land was purchased in 1930, and was the site of one of the largest workhouses in England.

Sir Edwin Lutyens was commissioned to build the cathedral. It was Lutyens who designed the Cenotaph in Whitehall in London, as well as War Memorials in Leicester and Southend.

His design, if it had been completed, would have created the largest cathedral in the world, but the advent of the Second World War brought construction to a halt, and only the crypt was built.

After the war, it was apparent that the Lutyens design would be too expensive, so a competition was organised to ceate a new design. This was won by Sir Frederick Gibberd.

Work began in the early 1960s, and the new cathedral was opened within five years.

It is an outstanding building, although anything but traditional.

It is circular, and built of concrete and glass, with a spectacular glass lantern. The shape has earned it the affectionate nickname "Paddy's Wigwam".

There is work inside the cathedral by many famous artists, including John Piper and Elisabeth Frink, and bronze Stations of the Cross created by the Liverpool artist Sean Rice.

Liverpool is one of the few English cities to have two cathedrals, although not, as the Guide told me, the only such city. Among others, Portsmouth and Norwich spring to mind.

Bookmark this page

Bookmark this page with

What is

Places in Liverpool...

Events in Liverpool...