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St Thomas, Brightside

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

St Thomas, Brightside
Sheffield - St Thomas, Brightside - - 349284.jpg
St Thomas, seen from the north west
DistrictDiocese of Sheffield
Ecclesiastical or organizational statusChurch
Year consecrated1854
LocationBrightside, Sheffield
South Yorkshire, England
Shown within Sheffield
Geographic coordinates53°24′23″N 1°25′58″W / 53.4064°N 1.4329°W / 53.4064; -1.4329
Architect(s)Flockton & Son
StyleGothic revival
Construction cost£1600 (£150,000 in 2019)[1]

St Thomas is a former Anglican church in the Brightside area of Sheffield in England which now serves as a circus training school.

The Sheffield and Rotherham Railway opened in 1838, and both industry and housing spread along its route through the Lower Don Valley. Despite its booming population, the district of Brightside did not have an Anglican church, the local congregation instead meeting in a licensed room with a capacity of only seventy people. However, the district had two large Methodist chapels,[2] and the Church Commissioners supported the construction of an Anglican church with a grant of £100.[3] The total cost of construction was £1600, with the remainder being raised by subscription.[4][5]

A site of around one acre off Holywell Road was donated by the Earl Fitzwilliam, and construction began in 1852, Canon Blackburn laying the foundations stone.[6][7] It was completed the following year,[3] with consecration by the Archbishop of York, Thomas Musgrave, taking place in 1854.[7][8] It was designed by Flockton & Son, local architects who had already designed many buildings in Sheffield, including Christ Church, Pitsmoor, and the Anglican Chapel at the Sheffield General Cemetery.[9] In the Gothic revival style, it has a nave and single south aisle, with a tower and spire at the south-western corner.[8]

Initially, the church remained part of the parish of Grimesthorpe, but in 1864, it was given its own parish.[7][10] In 1873, a memorial was erected to William Mannifield, who had been killed in an accident at the nearby Brightside Colliery.[11]

George Pace conducted much work on the church, providing new decorations in 1957, then a new altar, reredos and lectern in the 1960s.[12] It was Grade II listed in 1973,[8] but was closed and deconsecrated in 1979.[13] During the 1980s, it was used as the Sheffield School of Gymnastics,[14] then in 1995 it was restored as part of the TV series Challenge Anneka, to serve as a training centre for Greentop Circus.[15]

YouTube Encyclopedic

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    7 919
    2 590
  • ► The Killers ★ Mr Brightside ★ Oli, Thomas & Will (Age 10) ★ St Thomas Primary School ★ July 2015
  • Summit Singers | University of St. Thomas


See also


  1. ^ UK Retail Price Index inflation figures are based on data from Clark, Gregory (2017). "The Annual RPI and Average Earnings for Britain, 1209 to Present (New Series)". MeasuringWorth. Retrieved 2 February 2020.
  2. ^ Ed. John Wolffe, Yorkshire Returns of the 1851 Census of Religious Worship: West Riding (South), pp. 116–117
  3. ^ a b M. H. Port (2006), 600 New Churches: The Church Building Commission 1818–1856 (2nd ed.), Reading: Spire Books, ISBN 978-1-904965-08-4
  4. ^ The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England and Wales, 1894–95
  5. ^ Alfred Gatty, Sheffield: Past and Present, p. 321
  6. ^ John Taylor, The Illustrated Guide to Sheffield and the Surrounding District, p. 81
  7. ^ a b c William Odom, Memorials of Sheffield, p. 143
  8. ^ a b c Historic England. "Greentop Circus Training Centre (1255153)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 6 August 2015.
  9. ^ John Edward Vickers, A Popular History of Sheffield, p. 215
  10. ^ Sheffield City Council, "Sources for the History of Brightside"
  11. ^ Ken Wain, The Coal Mining Industry of Sheffield and North Derbyshire
  12. ^ Peter Gaze Pace, The Architecture of George Pace, p. 242
  13. ^ "London Gazette, 9 February 1979", p. 1852
  14. ^ "Domesday Reloaded: Churches in Sheffield", BBC
  15. ^ "Big top tips for budding performers", The Star, 18 April 2013
This page was last edited on 14 December 2020, at 03:40
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