The article “Rediscovering Old Shanghai: Holy Trinity Cathedral,” by Patrick Cranley, discusses British architect Sir George Gilbert Scott’s role in the design and construction of the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Shanghai. It also discusses the history of the British community in Shanghai at the time.
A design frozen in time
Built in the Huangpu District of Shanghai, China, Holy Trinity Cathedral (also known as Holy Trinity Church) was designed in a neo-gothic style by Sir Gilbert Scott which was in-keeping with his previous projects. However, due to budgetary constraints, the design was modified by William Kidner, one of Scott’s junior architects.
The foundation stones for the cathedral were put in place in 1866. It was dedicated three years later. Scott’s role in the design of the cathedral was extensive. He designed most original features and made plans for a good size congregation. The modifications made by Kidner were on Scott’s request to cater to a smaller budget.
An iconic landmark
Over time, Holy Trinity Cathedral developed a rich history. It has always been an English-speaking church and was known as the Diocese of Chekiang in 1930. It is the oldest cathedral in China of its type and is considered a landmark.
In 2006, it was announced the cathedral would undergo renovations. Interestingly, it had not been reopened by 2014 at the time Cranley wrote his article, but it has since been. It was reopened December 2017 to celebrate Mass for the World Prayer Day.
You can read Patrick Cranley’s history of the Holy Trinity Cathedral on Time Out Shanghai