Building » Bury – Our Lady of Good Counsel and Guardian Angels

Bury – Our Lady of Good Counsel and Guardian Angels

Harvey Street, Elton, Bury Bl8

A straightforward church design by Richard Byrom, typical of its date in its vaguely Romanesque styling.  The interior has been little altered apart from the reordering of the sanctuary, and is barely distinguishable from the same architect’s church at Littleborough (qv), built over twenty five years previously.

A school/chapel was commenced at Elton in 1866 and a wood and iron church opened in November 1892.  In the 1950s a new site close to the old church was procured for a new church and presbytery. The foundation stone was laid by Bishop Beck on 3 March 1956 and the church was opened in the spring of 1957. The architect was Richard Byrom of Bury, who built a large number of churches in the diocese in the interwar and post-war years.


Contemporary accounts noted that the building was in the ‘Roman’ style, which here means a very simplified version of Romanesque.  The walls are faced with Accrington brindled red ricks laid in Flemish bond, and the pitched roof is covered with natural slate. The plan comprises a square west tower with a pyramidal roof and transeptal projections, a lower aisleless nave and a short chancel. The tower has a canted bay window on the ground floor and triple round-headed windows over.  The side projections have a single window on each floor. The church is entered through single storey projecting porches on the north and south ends of these projections. The plain brick side walls of the nave side walls have seven round-headed windows on each side. The sanctuary continues the nave roofline, with single storey sacristies on each side, triple windows above and a blind east wall.

The design of the interior is barely distinguishable from that of Byrom’s church of St Mary of the Annunciation, Littleborough (qv), built over twenty five years earlier. The nave space has a woodblock floor, plain plastered walls and a boarded ceiling (now painted green). A west gallery is formed above the vestibule in the tower space, with round-headed openings on either side with balconettes. The side walls have seven bays of brick arches on brick pilasters enclosing rectangular windows with leaded lights. There is a small rosary chapel on the south side. The sanctuary arch in the east wall is semicircular with radiating brick quoins and is flanked by low round arches to the side chapels. The sanctuary itself is shallow, with an original triptych and tester in the style of Martin Travers set high on the east wall. The church has been reordered, with the original marble high altar converted to a smaller nave altar and the altar rails and nave pulpit removed.

Heritage Details

Architect: Richard Byrom

Original Date: 1957

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not Listed