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St George's Church, Liverpool
Heyworth Street, Everton, Liverpool, UK
St George's Church, Liverpool
associated engineer
Thomas Rickman
date  April 1813 - October 1814
UK era  Georgian  |  category  Church/Synagogue  |  reference  SJ354925
ICE reference number  HEW 842
photo  donation
Quaker accountant Thomas Rickman worked with John Cragg of Mersey Foundry to realise three churches in Liverpool that used cast iron extensively in their interiors. St George's is one of the two that survive.
John Cragg was the owner or principle partner of the Mersey Foundry. In 1812, he met Rickman. Together they built St George's, St Michael-in-the-Hamlet and St Philip's (now demolished). St Michael's is in Toxteth Park and St Philip's was in Hardman Street, Liverpool.
St George's was Rickman's first church design. It has a large square tower and is constructed in ashlar masonry in the Gothic Revival style. The side elevations feature large three-light windows framed on the outside by the building's buttresses.
Using iron for the interior brought the cost-saving advantages of prefabrication. Cragg provided cast iron galleries with their delicate columns, arches with open tracery, tracery for the windows, and ribbed panelling for the aisle and nave ceilings.
Writing in the Architectural Review in 1950, Turpin Bannister described St George's as being "at once the opening of a new phase in the Gothic Revival and a monument to the new age of iron".
There was precedent in Liverpool for the use of cast iron in churches, however. St Anne's Church, completed in 1772 by developer Mr Dodd but now long gone, had cast iron columns supporting its galleries.
Rickman and Cragg went on the built St Michael's, the subject of its own entry on this website, and then St Philip's (1816), the exterior of which imitated the design of King's College, Cambridge, but with an iron interior, unfortunately now lost.
Architect: Thomas Rickman
Contractor and ironwork: John Cragg of Mersey Foundry
Research: PD
"The First iron-framed Buildings" by Turpin Bannister, Architectural Review, April 1950
"The Buildings of England: South Lancashire" by Nikolaus Pevsner, Penguin, Harmondsworth, 1969

St George's Church, Liverpool