Erdington Abbey

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Erdington Abbey
Erdington Abbey - 2011-01-29.jpg
Erdington Abbey
DenominationRoman Catholic
DedicationThomas of Canterbury and Edmund of Canterbury
Heritage designationGrade II listed
Architect(s)Charles Hansom

Erdington Abbey Church (grid reference SP112922) on Sutton Road, Erdington, Birmingham, England, is the more usual name of the grade II listed church of Saints Thomas and Edmund of Canterbury. It is the church of a Roman Catholic parish in the Archdiocese of Birmingham served by the Redemptorists. The abbey itself was the adjacent building, now Highclare School.

Erdington Abbey church[edit]

In 1847 Father Heneage built a chapel in Erdington High Street, on the croft opposite the end of Station Lane.

Before this priests from Oscott College had said mass in a house on the High Street, but Catholics in Erdington are mainly indebted to the Rev. Daniel H. Haigh, founder of the Church of SS Thomas & Edmund of Canterbury. He laid the foundation stone of the new church on 26 May 1848. The church was opened and consecrated by Bishop Ullathorne on 11 June 1850. The church is an example of the Gothic revival.

The church was designed by Charles Hansom, who built the steeple of the church 117 ft (36 m) high, which is also the length of the building.[1] The plate was designed by Augustus Pugin and made by Hardman.


In 1876 Father Haigh handed over his church, parish and estate of 4 acres (16,000 m2) to the Benedictine monks from Beuron in Germany, exiled for their faith from their own country during the "Kulturkampf", the anti-Catholic and anti-clerical movement headed by Bismarck.

The abbey was built on this land next to the church. Its building is also grade II listed.

Roman Catholic Redemptorists[edit]

The Benedictine monks were later displaced a second time, as a result of problems experienced by the predominantly German Beuronese Congregation during World War I (1914–18). After World War I, during which the community suffered aggravation, it was possible for the community to return to their homeland.[2] The parish came under the control of the Redemptorist order of priests in 1922, and is currently served by Fr. Gabriel Maguire C.Ss.R - Rector and Parish Priest and Fr. Francis Dickinson C.Ss.R.


The attached cemetery contains war graves of three soldiers of World War I and two soldiers and four Royal Air Force personnel of World War II.[3]


  1. ^ Harris, Penelope, "The Architectural Achievement of Joseph Aloysius Hansom (1803-1882)", The Edwin Mellen Press, 2010, pp.164-166, ISBN 0-7734-3851-3
  2. ^ "Welcome to the Erdington Abbey Website", Erdington Abbey
  3. ^ [1] CWGC Cemetery Record. Breakdown from casualty record.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°31′42.21″N 1°50′10.04″W / 52.5283917°N 1.8361222°W / 52.5283917; -1.8361222