Building » Accrington (Huncoat) – Our Lady

Accrington (Huncoat) – Our Lady

Altham Lane, Huncoat BB5

A small functional chapel built in 1931 on the outskirts of Huncoat village. A west porch was added later; this has fine sculpture, probably from another church.

Before 1931, Mass was said in a room in the village of Huncoat. The chapel was erected in 1931 as chapel-of-ease to Sacred Heart, Accrington (closed 2003 and demolished). The small church (built to seat more than 200) was designed by George Riley of Oswaldtwistle and built largely of timber on brick foundations. The Bishop opened the church in June 1931 and dedicated it to Our Lady of Huncoat.

Since 1950, it has been served from St Joseph, Accrington. The chapel had to close temporarily in February 2013 after a break-in when the tabernacle and two chalices were stolen. It reopened after repairs.


The church is built of timber on brick foundations. The west front and porch are faced in stone. The latter seems to be a later addition. The plan is oblong, with a small porch. The porch has a central round-arched doorway with a fanlight in the shape of a Diocletian window above the door. On the north and south sides are plain doors. Both the west gable and the porch gable have painted crosses. Beside the north entrance is a statue of the Virgin Mary under a small timber gable. The north and south elevations are of timber with seven UPVC windows. There is an entrance to the sacristies at the northeast. The south side has five concrete buttresses, of two different types, one plain, the other with a crow-stepped weathering.

Built into the inside walls of the porch are statues of St Mary Magdalene and a nun under Gothic stone canopies and supported on angel corbels. Over the door to the nave are a simplified corbel table and a stone fragment of a carved eagle. The latter, the statues and the canopies appear to have come from another church, possibly Sacred Heart, Accrington.

The seven-bay interior has a collar-beam roof strengthened with metal ties. At the east end is a hanging crucifix. The altar and reredos are of timber, carved with Gothic detail highlighted with gilding. On either side are statues of the Virgin Mary and the Sacred Heart on timber pedestals and with plain horizontal timber canopies. Two doors lead to the sacristy behind the sanctuary. The octagonal font is of stone, with a brass cover. Over the west door hangs a ceramic plaque of the Virgin Mary in the style of della Robbia. The benches are modern, as are the small carved Stations.

Heritage Details

Architect: George Riley of Oswaldtwistle

Original Date: 1931

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not Listed