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St Michael-in-the-Hamlet Church
St Michael's Church Road, St Michael's Hamlet, Liverpool
St Michael-in-the-Hamlet Church
associated engineer
Thomas Rickman
date  1813 - 1815
era  Georgian  |  category  Church/Synagogue  |  reference  SJ368870
ICE reference number  HEW 842
photo  Paul Dunkerley
The second of three churches in Liverpool realised by Quaker accountant Thomas Rickman with John Cragg of Mersey Foundry that used cast iron extensively in their interiors. Only two, of which this is one, are still standing.
John Cragg was the owner or principle partner of the Mersey Foundry. In 1812, he met Rickman. Together, between 1813 and 1816, they built St George's in Everton, St Michael's and St Philip's (now demolished), which was in Hardman Street, Liverpool.
Cast iron is used extensively on the exterior as well as the interior at St Michael's. Elements that look like they are made of stone — the high plinth, the clerestory cladding, all the window tracery, and the door and window surrounds — are all in fact made of iron, along with the churchyard fence and gates. The plinth is made of iron plate.
For the interior ironwork, Cragg made use of the same wooden casting patterns he used at St George's (completed 1814 and the subject of a separate entry on this site). He provided cast iron galleries with delicate columns, arches with open tracery and ribbed panelling for the aisle and nave ceilings.
Rickman designed the churches, though Cragg was doing design work too at the time. He designed and speculatively built five houses near this church — Carfax (The Nunnery), The Hermitage, The Friary, Hollybank and The Cloisters.
The third church by the pair (St. Philip's: SJ355899) was built in brick, designed in imitation of King's College Chapel, Cambridge, with an iron interior.
Architect: Thomas Rickman
Contractor and ironwork: John Cragg of Mersey Foundry
Research: PD
bibliography
"The First Iron-framed Buildings" by Turpin Bannister
Architectural Review, April 1950
"The Buildings of England: South Lancashire" by Nikolaus Pevsner
Penguin, Harmondsworth, 1969
Location

St Michael-in-the-Hamlet Church