Building » Chorley – St Chad

Chorley – St Chad

Town Lane, South Hill, Whittle-le-Woods, Chorley PR6

St Chad’s has grown accretively from its origins in 1791. The tower has some architectural quality and the earlier elements retain historic character.

Worship was conducted nearby at Slate Delph before plans were drawn up by Mr Ashton for a chapel at South Hill in 1791 (that is, as soon as church building became legal after the Second Relief Act). Improvements seem to have been made during the period 1857-1867. These included building a nave and sanctuary at right angles to the original church, so that it formed transepts, an unusual approach. The tower was added by an unknown architect in 1867-8. The sanctuary was extended in 1888, replacing a semicircular apsidal structure. Much of the interior was destroyed after a serious fire in 1959.

The church is described in the list entry, below. The rebuilding of 1896 mentioned seems to be a mistake or misprint. The tower is described in an account of 1872.

List description


Roman Catholic Church, originally chapel of 1791, largely rebuilt 1896, altered internally after severe fire damage in 1959. Coursed sandstone on plinth of large blocks, with stone quoins and dressings, slate roof with stone gable copings. Cruciform plan, nave added in 1896 to south side of original chapel which now forms wide transepts, with chancel on north side; short tower at south end of nave, incorporating entrance porch at ground floor. Nave has 2 windows at the south end (flanking the tower), 3 in each side; transepts have one in the south wall, 2 in the gable walls: all these are tall and round-headed with jamb stones and voussoirs, in vernacular style of similar pre-Emancipation chapels (altered glazing now in all). Tower has openings which are also round- headed, but in Italianate style, the simple doorways on each side set in tall shallow recesses which have moulded semi-circular heads containing circular windows, and impost bands below which are small triple-windows with round-headed lights; the upper stage is a belfry which has on each side 2 louvred openings with moulded semi-circular heads, linked by an impost band; roof is low-pitched, pyramidal, with projecting eaves. Interior: altered since fire, but transept arcades survive: 3 rounded arches with hoodmould, supported by polished columns with octagonal caps. In baptistery is an embroidered sampler, dated 1846, showing “Southill Chapel” at that date.

Heritage Details

Architect: John Ashton

Original Date: 1791

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Grade II