Building » Goosnargh – St Francis

Goosnargh – St Francis

Horns Lane, Goosnargh, Preston PR3 2FJ.

A typical post-Relief Act mission-style church, with important historical associations and good group value with the attached presbytery and school room.

The village of Goosnargh produced two Elizabethan martyrs. William Marsden was martyred on the Isle of Wight in 1586, while George Beesley died in Fleet Street in 1591. Beesley was born in what is now the presbytery. He was beatified in 1987. A chapel is said to have been built on the south end of the old house c1755, which was extended in 1802 to form the present building. In 1835 the Benedictines from Ampleforth took over the mission and carried out further alterations.


See list description, below. The following points should also be noted:

The church is linked to two earlier, vernacular buildings – the present presbytery (a former  farmhouse,  given  a  late  seventeenth-century date  in the list description but there was a building here in the sixteenth century) and school (given a late eighteenth-century date in the list description). The list description gives 1835 as the date of the church, but the building is earlier, and was simply refronted (and possibly the gallery added) after the Ampleforth Benedictines took over the mission in 1835.

The interior is very much in the unassuming chapel style that characterises Catholic church building in the immediate post-Relief Act years. The list description makes no mention  of  the  internal  fittings,  and  these  are  indeed  not  especially  worthy  of comment. The gallery front is modern. The pews are simple pine benches of no particular  interest. There  is abstract coloured modern glass in all the windows. The windows on the listed presbytery and school house have been replaced with new hardwood windows.

List description


Roman Catholic church, dated 1835 on south gable, with attached presbytery formerly a farmhouse of late C17, altered, and school building probably of late C18. Church of squared sandstone with quoins, the side walls rendered and painted white, presbytery probably also sandstone, stuccoed and painted pink, school of thin coursed sandstone rubble also painted pink; slate roofs. Long range on north-south axis, the church at the south end and the school at the north end of the presbytery. Church is rectangular, 4 bays, single vessel, in simple classical style: entrance in south gable wall, which is symmetrical, has a round-headed doorway with double doors, fanlight with radiating glazing bars, simple moulded surround and cornice; two round-headed windows at 1st floor, a panel above and between these lettered GLORY BE TO GOD ON HIGH: and a moulded gable coping with kneelers, A.D. MDCCCXXXV the apex bearing a square bellcote surmounted by a cross. Each side wall has 4 large round headed windows, and the west side has tie-plates arranged decoratively in vertical rows between these (but no internal tie-rods). Interior: decorated in classical style, with sanctuary at north and distinguished by fluted Corinthian pilasters, plain frieze, and cornice with egg-and-dart and modillion decoration; panelled gallery at south end. Presbytery is 3-bay baffle-entry plan, 2 storeys, facing east; has glazed porch in line with ridge chimney at junction of 2nd and 3rd bays, 3 sashed windows without glazing bars on each floor; rear has attached stair turret with parallel ridged roof but is otherwise of less interest; interior has back-to-back inglenook fireplaces with chamfered bressummers, containing C18 stone fireplaces with corbelled jambs, that in the middle bay moulded with a cornice; ceiling beams which may be replacements; shallow rear addition. School continued to north, 5 bays, the 2 at the southern end of 2 storeys, with 2-light flush mullion windows, the rest full height single storey with vertical rectangular windows and various alterations. Also known as Hill Chapel.

Heritage Details

Architect: Unknown

Original Date: 1802

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Grade II