The Oratory House Birmingham

The Oratory, located in the Edgbaston area of Birmingham, was founded in 1849 by St John Henry Newman. The living quarters of the community is called the Oratory House and served as Newman’s home from 1852 – 1890, apart from four years that he spent in Ireland.

Project Summary

Messenger was awarded the contract to complete external masonry works, re-roofing works and refurbishment of the skylight and lanterns. Scaffolding was erected to all elevations of the Oratory House and a temporary roof erected to protect the existing Library Lantern. 

Further works to the elevations included:

  • Overhaul of the original sash windows to make them operable;
  • Raking out and re-pointing to the brickwork joints in lime mortar to match the existing;
  • The replacement of stone with limestone and sandstone to match the original;

The roof works involved forming new timber gutter substrates with sand cast lead to comply with the Lead Sheet Association, including the re-covering of the roofs where required with matching slates. Further masonry works to the chimneys, restoration of existing rooflights and the soft demolition and raising of the existing library roof lantern including structural repairs were undertaken to achieve a better weatherproofing detail.

Passive Fire Protection elements:

  • Cladding to staircase


The Oratory of St Philip Neri


Oliver Architecture


32 weeks


August 2021