Building » Bolton – St Ethelbert

Bolton – St Ethelbert

Hawthorne Street, Deane, Bolton BL3

A simple but well appointed building of 1958-9 in Romanesque style, with a tall campanile. The church has a calm interior with arcaded side aisles and a timber coffered ceiling.

A chapel-of-ease existed from 1905 in Deane Church Lane, but in 1922 a new parish was created from St Peter and St Paul. A school was built and a new church was opened in 1925. By the 1950s a larger church was needed and in 1958 the old church was demolished and replaced by the present building, designed by the architect Richard Byrom of Byrom and Noble of Bury. It was opened on 26 September 1959.   

The church dates from 1958-59 and was designed by Richard Byrom. It is built of rustic Accrington brick in a Romanesque style, with tall unmoulded round-headed windows and a slate roof. It consists of a nave with side aisles, separated by semi-circular arcades, a sanctuary and choir gallery. At the southwest corner is a brick campanile with a hipped slate roof, and alongside is a flat-roofed narthex which runs the full width of the west front. Above the main doorway, which is in the base of the tower is a marble statue of St Ethelbert. Flat-roofed sacristies run around the perimeter.

The interior is plastered and plain in character. The flat ceiling is coffered, with the ribs constructed of cedar and the panels formed in painted fibreboard. The altar, which has been brought forward, is of white marble and is fronted by a mosaic panel of Leonardo’s Last Supper. The former altar rails have been removed. The Lady Chapel in the north aisle has a marble altar and statue of Our Lady. The pews and other furnishings are of oak and the font is from the old church and was carved in Carrara marble by Robert Howarth & Son of Deane in 1924. The windows are glazed with pale tinted Cathedral glass and two contain panels of the Arms of St Ethelbert of Kent and St Augustine. The sanctuary and aisle floors are paved in terrazzo and the nave floor in timber. The light fittings were designed by the architect and forged in wrought iron in the shape of a star with a cross in the centre.

Around 2004 an enclosed space was formed in front of the narthex to serve as a parish room. This separated the choir gallery from the nave, and rendered the organ unusable.              

Heritage Details

Architect: Richard Byrom of Byrom and Noble

Original Date: 1959

Conservation Area: Yes

Listed Grade: Not Listed