St Ignatius, Richmond.

Original post 5 April 2018

StIgnatiusRichmond, possibly the largest and certainly the most prominent of any Melbourne church apart from the two main cathedrals. Designed by #WilliamWardell, who was the chief of the #PublicWorksDepartment ‘with a right to private practice’, and he did lots of churches and some banks, presumably in his spare time! The wonderful spire here isn’t his design, but by diocese architect Gerald Vanheems built in 1927, much taller than originally intended, but it works. Looks like a higher version of the second sketch I found (no date) so it’s Wardells design but higher. The other sketch might be an earlier rejected design, or maybe it changed on the way ? It’s dated 1870, but construction started in 1867 (not complete, without spire) till 1897. Only 30 years ! (actually just realised maybe St Mary’s North Melbourne is just as big, but they never finished the spire). @ St Ignatius Catholic Church

StIgnatiusRichmond, inside. I was expecting something more ornate from our major #GothicRevival church architect #WilliamWardell, but like his always classical public buildings, it exhibits ‘competent conservatism with simplicity of line and plainness of decoration’, nothing like high Victorian polychrome I like, for instance inside Butterfield’s #StPaulsCathedralMelbourne. The best bit is the attached side aisle or whatever it is, though the glass wall rather ruins the spatial effects. @ St Ignatius Catholic Church

StIgnatiusRichmond, decorative #GothicRevival elements from various periods, concentrated round the #Altar, #ambulatory (with three chapels), and side #LadyChapel. The brass altar rail and #stencilwork above might be 1890s or 1920s, the altar and lady chapel altar are 1925, the organ is 1874, but from an exhibition, installed here in 1897; the #stainedglass i happened to photograph is exactly 100 years later, 1997.

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