St. Michael and All Angels’ Church, Northampton

Following the success of St. Lawrence’s Church, the Northampton Church Extension Society pressed on with St. Michael and All Angel’s Church, which was eventually built on a piece of land off Kettering Road.


During 1878, Messrs. Burder and Baker, submitted two completely different plans for the church. Although they eventually lost out to a design by George Vialls of Doughty Square, London, a native of Northampton, they exhibited their designs at the 1878 Royal Academy summer exhibition. It appears that the decision to use George Vialls as the architect was made as early as 1877[1], although they appear to have held a limited competition[2]. For various reasons, the church was not built for another few years, with the dedication being held in June 1882[3].

Messrs. Burder and Baker’s second design – The Building News,  13th September 1878

In an article by James Cubitt[4] on church designs based upon the “central area” principle in the Building News on 13th December 1878, he brought attention to Messrs. Burder and Baker’s design: spite of its plainness, much character and individuality—it is to be regretted that so interesting a scheme is not now being carried out. The plan, it is true, very nearly resembles one submitted by Messrs. Sulman and Rhodes in competition for a church at South Shields—the working out of which, though crude, was suggestive. Messrs. Burder and Baker have unmistakeably retained much that belonged to this earlier attempt; but they have, quite as unmistakeably, transformed it, and made it their own.



  1. The Northampton Mercury, 2nd February, 1878.
  2. The Building News, 13th September, 1878.
  3. The Northampton Mercury, 24th June, 1882.
  4. James Cubitt (1836-1912) was a Victorian church architect specialising in building non-conformist chapels.