The Anglo-Catholic Revival
The Rev’d George Appleton became Vicar of Worksop in 1847 and recognised the great importance of the surviving buildings. He encouraged people to take an interest in its history, and eventually raised the money to restore the nave. The pillars, windows, roofs and doors were restored in Romanesque style.
A new altar and reredos by Gilbert Scott was placed at the east end of the nave under a new stained glass window. (parts of this were re-used in the north transepts in the 1930s) At this time, a new more dignified style of worship, which later came to be known as “anglo-catholicism” was introduced.
This was enthusiastically supported later in the century by the seventh Duke of Newcastle, who as well as being patron of the living was also churchwarden. With his close friend Canon D’Arcy, an ambitious project to replace the long-demolished choir was begun. Plans for an impressive gothic choir by Sir Harold Brakspear were accepted and work began.
First, the Lady Chapel was restored in 1922 as a memorial to the men of the parish who died in the Great War. Then in the 1930’s the transepts and the base of the central tower were rebuilt.
But in 1939, war intervened and the project was put on hold and then abandoned.
Inheriting a half completed building, Fr Peter Boulton took up the challenge and with the support of the people and a generous legacy from Mr Ellis a local timber merchant, the present central tower and choir, designed by Laurence King were completed in 1974.
This process of restoration of both the buildings and Catholic worship and spirituality has continued to the present day.
Today, the town of Worksop may be in decline, but Worksop Priory is known throughout the world for its distinctive architecture and the faith it enshrines.
c/o Worksop Priory