Skip to content

Historic Building Details

HB Ref No:

Extent of Listing:
Church, hall and railings

Date of Construction:
1880 - 1899

Address :
Methodist Church 19-21 Carlisle Road Londonderry County Londonderry BT47


Survey 2:

Date of Listing:
25/05/1976 00:00:00

Date of De-listing:

Current Use:

Former Use

Conservation Area:

Industrial Archaeology:





OS Map No:

IG Ref:
C4360 1646

Owner Category

Church - Methodist

Exterior Description And Setting

Double-height sandstone Gothic Revival Methodist church, built c.1903, to the designs of A. Foreman. Irregular on plan, facing west onto Carlisle Road with a three-stage tower and spire to the south and a two-storey hall to the northeast. Natural slate roofs, gabled to the south and hipped to the north with roll-moulded black clay ridge tiles, lead valleys and a lead-lined spire to an octagonal plan timber louvred lantern at the north end. Natural slate spire to north rear entrance tower surmounted by wrought-iron finial. Smooth coursed ashlar sandstone spire to tower with slender lucarnes and four flying buttresses all surmounted by iron cap and decorative finial. Moulded cast-iron guttering to south aisle and replacement steel downpipes. Squared rock-faced and snecked random coursed sandstone walling with smooth ashlar sandstone dressings and chamfered trim to projecting plinth course. Stepped angle buttresses with offsets to the tower rising to crocketed tapered pinnacles. Ashlar sandstone piers flank the aisle windows rising to octagonal flying buttresses that flank the clerestorey windows surmounted by crocketed tapered pinnacles. Tudor arched window openings formed in chamfered smooth ashlar sandstone and voussoired surrounds with hood mouldings, spalyed sills and tripartite trefoil-headed windows having perpendicular tracery heads and Art Nouveau style coloured leaded glazing. The windows are bipartite to both the north and south towers, those to the south tower having timber louvres. Principal west elevation is four windows wide with the principal entrance to the base of the tower to the south(right) and a secondary entrance to the north (left) also providing access to the church hall. The principal entrance comprises a compound moulded Tudor arched entrance with a pair of trefoil-headed door openings and deeply inset Gothic-arched wood-grained Gothic paneled doors with carved detail having leaded glazing to the upper sections. Doors open onto a short flight of stone steps enclosed to the street by concertina iron gates. The entire door opening is surmounted by an perpendicular Gothic fretwork gable flanked by crown finials and surmounted by a large fleur-de-lys. The hall entrance is set within a small gable with a Tudor arched door opening housing a vertically-sheeted wood-grained timber door and plain fanlight. This door opens onto a paved area with recent paving artwork and enclosed by replacement steel gates hung on Gothic stone piers. North elevation is abutted by adjoining terrace. East nave elevation is three windows wide with three floors and abutted to the north end by a two-storey rendered hall. Rough-cast rendered walling to lower ground and ground floor with plain render to wall above and butresses flanking the clerestorey windows. Tripartite tracery windows to this elevation are possibly cement based and also glazed with Art Nouveau style leaded coloured glazing. At basement level are multi-pane timber casement windows. The northeast end of the church is abutted by a two-storey church hall at an angle. This structure has a pitched natural slate roof with a central timber lantern, rough-cast rendered walling and Tudor arched window openings to the upper level and square-headed window openings to the lower level, all having original multi-pane timber casement windows with historic glass. South gable is also smooth rendered with matching tracery window. The tower abuts this elevation off-centre which is in turn abutted by an apsidal sandstone stairhall projection with semi-conical leaded roof and series of diminutive pointed-arched windows divided by colonettes and glazed with coloured leaded glazing. A later flat-roofed entrance porch provides access to the basement via a Tudor arched door opening on the west elevation with wood-grained vertically-sheeted timber door. Setting: Set with long West principal elevation on Carlisle Road, enclosed to the street by decorative wrought-iron railings. Abutted by terrace to north, with vacant (at time of survey) site to south. A small yard to the southeast is enclosed by a tall cement rendered wall marking the tight boundary of the site. Abutted to northeast by church hall and bound by random schist stone walling. Roof Natural slate RWG Cast-iron/replacement metal Walling Scottish Gifnock Sandstone Windows Leaded coloured in stone tracery; multi-pane casments to lower ground floor (basement) on East Elevation


Forman, Albert

Historical Information

Carlisle Road Methodist Church, an Edwardian late-Gothic Revival church located on the eastern side of Carlisle Road, was constructed in 1901-03. Prior to 1901 there were two Methodist congregations in Londonderry, the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel at East Wall and the Methodist City Mission on the Waterside. Methodism was founded in Londonderry in the mid-18th century by Thomas Williams who established the first meeting houses in the city. With the industrialisation of Derry in the mid-19th century the denomination experienced an increase in its numbers and a larger house of worship was required (UTD; Walker, p. 151). Carlisle Road Methodist Church replaced the former chapel on East Wall and was designed by Alfred Arthur Forman, an Australian architect who travelled to Ireland in 1897 and moved to Derry in 1899. Forman remained in the city for five years and was responsible for the design of the Northern Counties Hotel (HB01/21/016), No. 2 Butcher Street (HB01/19/016) and the Northern Counties Club (HB01/19/008). According to UAHS guide for Londonderry, ‘Forman indulged in a variety of delightful shapes that did not express any function but were purely visual’ (UAHS, p. 30). The Irish Builder records that the foundation stone of the church was laid in 1901 by Maria Hamilton, the Duchess of Abercorn, and opened on 8th May 1903 by the Mayor. The Natural Stone Database notes that Forman employed Scottish Giffnock Sandstone in the masonry of the church and its tower. The construction of the church was carried out by the Colhoun Bros, a local building firm (Irish Builder, p. 1778; p. 1866; DIA; NSD). When completed the Annual Revisions set the total rateable value of Carlisle Road Methodist Church at £190. The value was increased to £470 under the First General Revaluation of Property in Northern Ireland (1936-57) and further increased to £540 by the end of the Second Revaluation (1956-72). The NIEA HB Record notes that two of the stained glass windows (‘Suffer the Little Children’ and ‘A Drink from the well of Bethlehem’) were installed within the church in c. 1945 and were designed by the Clokey Stained Glass Studios (NIEA HB Record). In 1970 the UAHS guide for Londonderry described Carlisle Methodist Church as an ‘almost flamboyant neo-Gothic [church] with the tower over the main entrance culminating in a rather delicate spire supported by four flying buttresses … internally the church is a neat pleasing space with slight sloping floor, a theatrical-type gallery, three-sided interesting timber-panelled ceiling, and behind the pulpit a fine organ’ (UAHS guide, p. 30). Carlisle Methodist Church was listed category B+ in 1976. The NIEA HB Records note that the original church windows had fallen into a state of disrepair by the 1990s. Between 1996 and 1998 all the original stained glass windows were replaced, the exterior stonework was repaired and the lower roof (located on the Carlisle Road elevation) was reslated (NIEA HB Record). The Methodist Historical Society of Ireland has described Carlisle Road Methodist Church as ‘one of the most beautiful churches in Irish Methodism. During the Northern Ireland Troubles the congregation of the church dwindled but ‘thankfully those dark days appear to have passed and … there are now just over 100 members’ (Methodist Historical Society of Ireland website). References Primary Sources 1. PRONI VAL/12/B/33/1A-1B – Annual Revisions (1897-1929) 2. PRONI VAL/3/C/6/10 – First General Revaluation of Property in Northern Ireland (1936-57) 3. PRONI VAL/4/B/5/14 – Second General Revaluation of Property in Northern Ireland (1956-72) 4. Irish Builder (21 Mar; 16 Jul 1903) 5. Ulster Town Directories (1901-1918) 6. First Survey Record – HB01/19/063 (1970) 7. First Survey Image – HB01/19/063 (No Date) 8. NIEA HB Records – HB01/19/063 Secondary Sources 1. Calley, D., ‘City of Derry: An historical gazetteer to the buildings of Londonderry’ Belfast: Ulster Architectural Heritage Society, 2013. 2. Ferguson, W. S; Rowan, A. J; Tracey, J. J., ‘List of historic buildings, groups of buildings, areas of architectural importance in and near the city of Derry’ Belfast: Ulster Architectural Heritage Society, 1970. 3. Rowan, A. J., ‘The Buildings of Ireland: North West Ulster’ London: Yale University Press, 2003. 4. Walker, S., ‘Historic Ulster Churches’ Belfast: The Institute of Irish Studies, 2000. 5. Williams, J., ‘A companion guide to architecture in Ireland: 1834-1921’ Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 1994. Online Resources 1. Dictionary of Irish Architects - 2. Natural Stone Database - 3. Methodist Historical Society of Ireland website -

Criteria for Listing

Architectural Interest

A. Style B. Proportion C. Ornamentation D. Plan Form E. Spatial Organisation F. Structural System I. Quality and survival of Interior J. Setting

Historic Interest

V. Authorship W. Northern Ireland/International Interest Y. Social, Cultural or Economic Importance Z. Rarity R. Age S. Authenticity T. Historic Importance


Double-height sandstone Gothic Revival Methodist church, built c.1903, to the designs of renowned Australian born architect A. Foreman. Irregular on plan, facing west onto Carlisle Road with a three-stage tower and spire to the south and a two-storey hall to the northeast. Methodism was founded in Londonderry in the mid-18th and with industrialisation of Londonderry in the mid-19th century the denomination experienced an increase in its numbers; Carlisle Road church replaced a smaller chapel on the East City Wall. An elaborate exercise in the Gothic style with an array of architectural devices on a small scale. The retention of most original external fabric is matched by a fine interior which is of particular note, with intricately carved roof structure and cantilevered gallery. The good overall condition and façade detailing make this an important part of the ecclesiastical architectural heritage of Londonderry in addition to its social importance for the Methodist community. Gothic detail is repeated in stone pillars and railings to the Carlisle Road street frontage and a somewhat more modest hall abuts the rear facade, bound by random schist stone walling that respects the character of the setting.

General Comments

Date of Survey

26 February 2014