Building » Great Crosby – St Peter and Paul

Great Crosby – St Peter and Paul

Liverpool Road, Great Crosby, Liverpool 23

Large Gothic Revival church of the 1890s by Sinnott, Sinnott & Powell, who built widely in the Archdiocese  of Liverpool in the closing years of the nineteenth century. The church and contemporary presbytery form a good group. The internal plan is conventional, but the volume impresses, and there are a number of furnishings of interest and quality, including a pulpit purportedly designed by A. W. Pugin.

The church was built in 1892-4 from designs by Sinnott, Sinnott & Powell. At the west end there is a monument to Peter McKinley, who died in 1886 and ‘by whose generosity this church was built’. It replaced an earlier classical church of 1826, which was located further forward towards the street frontage.


Large urban church in late medieval style, built in 1892-4 from designs by Sinnott, Sinnott & Powell. Built of yellow quarry-faced sandstone with red ashlar sandstone dressings, slate roofs. Adjoining presbytery of similar date and materials consists of nave, aisles, transepts and a canted chancel flanked by side chapels. The chief external display is reserved for the gabled west front, which is dominated by a large six-light window with Geometrical tracery, flanked by statues of SS Peter and Paul in aedicules. Small triple lancet windows below this, and to the right a lean-to porch, incorporating the main entrance (on the return).  Full-height northern projection at west end of the nave housing the organ. Large four-light windows with Geometrical tracery to the aisles (there is no clerestory), narrower trefoil-headed lancets to the transepts, chancel and side chapels.

The side entrance at the west front leads into a narthex under the western gallery. This leads into a tall nave of four bays, with moulded arcades resting on round piers with carved foliate capitals. Canted wooden ceiling to nave and chancel; there is no chancel arch. Foundation stone set low into north wall of the chancel. Flanking Lady Chapel (north) and Sacred Heart Chapel (south). The southern transept is deeper on plan than the northern one, and contains a gallery with additional seating.  The whole church is fitted with plain pine pews.

The church was reordered in the 1980s, when the original high altar was dismantled and a plain forward altar introduced. Nevertheless the church retains a number of noteworthy late nineteenth and twentieth century fittings, including:

  • the reredos, with painted (censing angels etc) and sculpted figures in niches and recesses around all three sides of the apse;
  • a stone and marble Gothic tabernacle throne below this, possibly part of the original high altar cut down;
  • A canopy over the original high altar with a blue painted and gilded soffit with Gothic tracery and central dove of the Holy Spirit;
  • Openwork painted stone Gothic screens on either side of the chancel, separating this space from the side chapels, with shields bearing the emblems of SS Peter and Paul;
  • A  fine  polychrome  Gothic  pulpit  (minus  its  base)  with  carved  and gilded symbols of the Evangelists and bearing the inscription THIS PULPIT, DESIGNED BY AUGUSTUS WELBY PUGIN, WAS ERECTED HERE IN THE YEAR OF OUR LORD 1909 PIUS X PONT.MAX.;
  • Marble altar rails with iron gates to sanctuary and side chapels;
  • Marble altars of apparent mid-twentieth century date to side chapels;
  • Gothic screen to chapel at west end of north aisle (originally the baptistery) in memory of James and Helen Carew, now glazed in (organ over);
  • A good collection of late nineteenth century stained glass in many of the windows, makers not established;
  • Good Stations of the Cross, painted and framed, in Northern Renaissance style.
Heritage Details

Architect: Sinnott, Sinnott & Powell

Original Date: 1892

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not Listed