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.
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.
Original Date: 1823
Conservation Area: Yes
Listed Grade: Not Listed