Friday Photo: St Michaels Church
Today’s Friday photo is of St Michaels Church in Boldmere. The original church was designed by JF Wadmore of London in 1857. A decorated style with outer walls of grey limestone and white Hollington stone dressings, it was expanded twice; first in 1871 when the spire was built and again in 1895 when the South aisle was built.
Initially the church contained only a single bell, but in 1906 the 8 present bells were installed courtesy of a donation from the local Inston family. Made by JB Barwell of Birmingham, the complete set are still of interest now as they were cast using old methods from before the scientific tuning of bells was perfected in the late 1890s. Most bells were re-cast during the 20th century but St Michaels still retain their 18th-19th century tonal quality.
In 1964 the church was partially destroyed by a fire, only the tower and the south aisle avoided devastation. The photo is taken in the replacement nave of the church, designed in a modernist style, typical of the date it was constructed. Contrasting the Victorian church with a modern form in Staffordshire blue brick was thought to be controversial but I think the interior of the modern addition is quite architecturally interesting in its own right.