Building » Chorley – Sacred Heart

Chorley – Sacred Heart

Brooke Street, Chorley PR6

An ambitious design by Edmund Kirby, a powerful presence in the streetscape with a striking west front. The interior was richly enhanced by a decorative scheme undertaken in 1994 by Francis Roberts. The church forms a group with the presbytery, also by Kirby.

The Brooke Street Mission was founded in 1875 as an offshoot of St Mary’s, Chorley (qv). A church/school was opened in May 1875 on Brooke Street. The present church and presbytery were paid for by the Rev. Dean J. Lennon, who commissioned and instructed the architect Edmund Kirby. The proposed tower remained unexecuted due to financial difficulties. The parishioners funded the fitting out. The church was opened in October 1896.


The list description (below) can be augmented as follows.

The Geometrical window tracery is freely treated. Tall clerestory with large windows. There are transepts, a northwest baptistery, canted apse flanked by chapels and confessionals and a link to the presbytery on the north side.

The interior has a narthex beneath the west organ gallery. Arcades with circular columns of different polished granites. Shallow transepts with rose windows; the transepts and presbytery link are also defined by arches. Timber-panelled roof with arch-braced trusses. The east window incorporates a cross in the tracery. Beneath this is a canopied niche containing a statue of Christ. Altar and reredos of Caen stone with columns of Belgian marble by Martin of Cheltenham who also did the canopy and statue (according the Chorley Guardian, perhaps a misprint for Boulton). The stained glass to the apse by Dobbelaire is of a high quality and represents the Evangelists. The church contains several timber statues by Stuflesser and Mayer & Co. of Munich. Good Stations of the Cross by Beyaert, of Bruges, who also provided two side altars. The metalwork and plate is by Hardman & Powell, Herbert & Co, and Thomason. Baptistery with a striking twentieth-century chrome gate. The walls were lined with marble probably in the 1930s. The church was reordered and redecorated in 1994 by Francis B. Roberts, using motifs from A.W.N. Pugin’s Glossary of Ecclesiastical Ornament, 1844. A new forward altar and lectern are of timber with plaster mouldings copied from the details of the original altar and painted white. The original altar remains in situ. Brass and steel chandeliers were also designed by Roberts.

The presbytery, by the same architect and of the same date as the church, is attached on the (liturgical) northeast side.

List description 


Church, 1894, by E. Kirby. Yellow rock-faced stone with red sandstone dressings, slate roof. High nave with aisles and polygonal apse, in Geometrical style. Principal feature of interest is tall gable front (to Brooke Street) which has angle buttresses terminating in short pinnacles, and a giant splayed and moulded arch of red sandstone with 4 orders. This embraces a gableted splayed portal with moulded arch within which are
coupled trefoil-headed doorways and a spherical triangle in the head containing 3 trefoils; above this the wall is panelled, with decorative coursing. The head of the arch is filled by a rose window with a cusped centre, containing a cross, surrounded by 8 quatrefoils. To 1st bay large gabled porches with deep arch, spherical triangle with flowing tracery over.
Clerestory of arched windows with 2 trefoil lights and a cinquefoil in the head and hoodmould, between pilaster strips. Interior: arcade of polished columns with moulded octagonal caps and 2-centred arches; arch-braced roof; high east window breaking the cornice.

Listing NGR: SD5904217190

Heritage Details

Architect: E. Kirby

Original Date: 1896

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Grade II