Stoke’s lost Cathedral

20150928_094654 When Stoke-on-Trent became a city in 1925, there was an understandable desire for it to have a cathedral. The Rector of Stoke at that time, Prebendary Douglas Crick, launched an ambitious plan to rebuild St Peter ad Vincula as the Cathedral for the city. Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, the renown architect, who had designed Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral, was engaged for the project.  His proposals would have given Stoke a similar building to Liverpool, although on a smaller scale. The cost in 1928, would have been £150,000. The Rector was enthusiastic about the plans. Richard Talbot, in his book on ‘The Church & Ancient Parish of Stoke-upon-Trent’, tells us that a well attended meeting was held on Friday 28th April 1928 in Stoke Town Hall. There was universal support for the idea, and a planning committee was established. The Bishop of Lichfield wrote enthusiastically, “The plans are magnificient, and the city of Stoke-on-Trent ought to possess a mother church which was worthy by its greatness and beauty.” 

Stoke Cathedral

“Stoke Cathedral”

Liverpool Cathedral

Liverpool Cathedral

However, although enthusiastically acclaimed, the high costs and the coming of the Great Depression meant this ambitious project never got off the ground. So you decide:

  • Was Stoke saved from having an expensive white elephant?
  • Or would Sir Gilbert Scott’s “Cathedral” , have really put Stoke on the map, as it did Liverpool?