St Chad's Cathedral - A Birmingham Gem!

St Chad's Cathedral is situated at St Chad's Circus Queensway and St Chad's Queensway in what was formerly called the Gun Quarter in Birmingham.

St Chad's Cathedral, also called the Metropolitan Cathedral Church and Basilica of Saint Chad, is the seat of the Archbishop of Birmingham, at the head of the Archdiocese of Birmingham. It is a Catholic Church and was completed in 1841.

St Chad's Cathedral

St Chad's Cathedral (February 2021) courtesy of Daniel Sturley


History of St Chad's Cathedral, Birmingham

St Chad's was one of the first Catholic cathedrals to be erected in England after the English Reformation. It was built from 1839 to 1841. The architect was Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin. It is located in Birmingham's Gun Quarter (in recent years renamed to St Paul's and St Chad). The church was raised to cathedral status in 1852, following the restoration of the Catholic Hierarchy. The cathedral was bombed during the Second World War in 1940. It was declared a Minor Basilica in 1941 by Pope Pius XII. The current Archbishop of Birmingham is Bernard Longley who succeeded to the role in 2009, taking over from Archbishop Vincent Nicholls (who became the Archbishop of Westminster). Archbishop Nicholls was the Archbishop of Birmingham from 2000 to 2009.

St Chad's Cathedral

St Chad's Cathedral from St Chad's Circus (May 2009). Photography by Elliott Brown


St Chad's Circus

From the 1960s until about 2006 had subways and a lowered area, with the original JFK Memorial mosaic (by the artist Kenneth Budd). The JFK Memorial was later recreated in Digbeth (which was also a Irish Catholic area) in 2012-13 (by Oliver Budd, son of Kenneth). The realignment of the circus took place from 2006 and was completed in 2007. This was ahead of the building of the Snowhill office blocks on Snow Hill Queensway. One Snowhill was completed by 2009. The recession resulted in Two Snowhill not being completed until 2013. After a redesign, Three Snowhill followed and was completed in 2020.

St Chad's Circus

St Chad's Cathedral and St Chad's Circus from Two Snow Hill (April 2013). Photography by Elliott Brown


St Chad's Tram Stop

The Midland Metro extension from Snow Hill to New Street Station was built from 2012 to 2016. The old Snow Hill Tram Stop closed in 2015. Initially the new tram stop was called Snow Hill, but was renamed to St Chad's (as it was felt that the new tram stop was a bit far from Snow Hill Station and closer to St Chad's Cathedral). The tram stop was completed in 2016. Steps from the tram stop down to Old Snow Hill was completed and opened in 2017.

Midland Metro tram passes St Chad's Cathedral

A pink Urbos 3 Midland Metro tram passes St Chad's Cathedral near St Chad's Tram Stop (January 2016). Photography by Elliott Brown

Project dates

22 Feb 2021 - On-going


History & heritage, Civic pride, Classic Architecture

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Jonathan Bostock

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