Myrtle Street Baptist Church
Driving up Hardman Street today, I noticed work was progressing rapidly on what was for a long time a car park facing the Philharmonic pub. In one of my earliest posts, I uploaded a photograph of the church that once stood there – Myrtle Street Baptist Church. For a Nonconformist church, it is surprisingly ornate – given the generally subdued architecture favoured by Baptists.
The church opened in 1844 and was very popular because of its charismatic preacher, Hugh Stowell Brown: so popular that the church was extended in 1862 to create more room for his followers. Folklore has it that the church was bombed during the last War. (I use folklore very loosely here – it is astonishing how short communal memory can be). In fact it was demolished in the 1930s – although its vacant site was used to site an air raid shelter.
I doubt the current development will lift souls either architecturally or spiritually. It is an important corner with a palace to culture and a gin palace on facing corners. A palace for students? We shall see.