Building » Clayton Green – St Bede

Clayton Green – St Bede

Preston Road, Clayton le-Woods, Chorley PR6

St Bede is a good example of the modest Nonconformist type of Catholic chapel built in the early years of the 19th  century. It forms part of a group of broadly contemporary buildings associated with the mission in the area, which had previously centred on rooms in private houses.

The church is a daughter church of St Gregory Weld, Chorley (q.v.) set up to succeed a room used for Mass in nearby Hawksclough farm. Thomas Burgess was a builder also credited with designing St Gregory. He is buried in the churchyard of St Bede beneath a simple table tomb. He died in 1843 at the age of eighty-five. St Bede has evidently been the subject of various alterations and reorderings internally, including the introduction of a forward altar. The presbytery was altered in 1907 when a new porch and bay windows were added. The spirelet was added in 1964.

The copper bell turret with spirelet was added in 1964 by Weightman & Bullen, striking a slightly unusual note. There is some fairly good later 19th  century stained glass, including a window showing the Venerable Bede. First World War memorial on the south side; a pieta. The sanctuary furnishings may well be of early 20th  century date.

LIST DESCRIPTION:

Roman Catholic chapel, 1823, built by Thomas Burgess. Coursed sandstone, slate roof with modern pinnacled bellcote to chapel, one chimney to presbytery. Chapel has simple 3-bay rectangular plan entered at east end, presbytery attached at west end is slightly narrower and lower. Chapel has plinth, low sill-band, a band to the pediment of the gable; side walls have 2 simple buttresses and 3 round headed windows; in east front is round-headed doorway, which has fanlight with radiating glazing bars and double doors (now protected by bracketed canopy); at 1st floor 2 small lunettes with radiating glazing bars flanking a stone table with incised lettering: Gloria et Honor Deo in Saecula Saeculorum Amen 1823.

Interior: Single cell with 3 plain pilasters on each side, coved cornice, flat ceiling; east gallery on 4 slim iron columns (c. 1850), with an organ; sanctuary in unusual recessed rectangular bay with elliptical arch rising from flanking Ionic columns, the inner walls elaborately decorated with blind arcade of fluted pilasters and illuminated by a skylight; flanking this bay in the body of the Church and attached to the west wall are 4-seated sedilia which have above the backs unusual round-headed screen arcades of Ionic columns with rounded arches supporting a dentilled cornice. On each side, a doorway into the presbytery, under a detached dentilled cornice. Presbytery: Symmetrical gabled front of 3 bays, 2½ storeys, string course to pediment of gable; central round-headed doorway has fanlight with radiating glazing bars (now under a porch roof extended to the sides over bay windows of 1907); 3 tall flat floor windows, and 2 at attic level, all with altered glazing.

Single storey service extension attached to left wall; right return wall has 1907 2-storey flat-roofed extension.

Heritage Details

Architect:

Original Date: 1823

Conservation Area: Yes

Listed Grade: Not Listed