St Ignatius' Church, Richmond
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St Ignatius' Church, Richmond is a Catholic Church located in the Melbourne suburb of Richmond, Victoria, Australia. It is one of the largest churches in Melbourne outside of the central business district. It is located in a prominent position, the highest point in Richmond, on Church Street.
St Ignatius' Church was designed by English born architect William Wardell who had already made a name for himself in England and was also responsible for many of Melbourne's most important early buildings including St Patrick's Cathedral. Like St Patrick's it is in the Gothic Revival style and constructed from local bluestone. The foundation stone was laid in 1867. The members of the predominantly Irish working class parish managed to save £700 towards construction, a large sum at the time. Stage one of the church was completed in 1927. This was made up of the nave and part of the tower and allowed services to commence.
Construction of the remaining sections of the church took many years due to financial constraints. The transept was completed in 1888 and the remainder, less the spire, in 1892. It was nearly 40 years later that the spire was completed. Designed by architect G.W. Vanheems, it was much taller than that originally proposed by Wardell. When completed in 1928 it was the tallest structure in Australia at 65 metres high. Vanheems later designed the even taller spire of St Patrick's which was added, also belatedly, in 1939. A primary school of the same name operated for several decades behind the Church before its closure and amalgamation with St. James' Primary School in 2005.