Building » Liverpool – St Charles Borromeo

Liverpool – St Charles Borromeo

Aigburth Road, Liverpool 17

A church of some significance, with a tower that serves as a landmark in the local area. It is one of a number of works in the Archdiocese of Liverpool designed by Pugin & Pugin. The exterior is more important than the interior, which lacks exceptional features or contents.

The church of St Charles Borromeo replaced a temporary iron church, which was erected in 1892 for clergy from Our Lady of Mount Carmel. It is one of many Catholic churches built at the turn of the century to provide for the new inhabitants of the rapidly-expanding suburbs.


The church was erected in 1899-1900 to the design of Pugin & Pugin (of which the principal partner was Peter Paul Pugin until his death in 1904). Built of rock-faced buff-coloured sandstone with red ashlar sandstone dressings, it consists of a broad aisleless nave of six bays with a dominant and centrally-placed west tower. The tower is buttressed and crenellated, with stout hexagonal pinnacles at the four corners. On the north, south and west faces are carved statues set in canopied niches. The window tracery is Decorated. At the east end an apsidal chancel, flanked by chapels projects awkwardly from the main body of the church.

The arrangement of sanctuary and chapels works rather better internally, where the interpenetration of arches of differing heights at the east end gives focus to the otherwise plain and largely plastered interior. The sanctuary was reordered in the 1960s, when it was brought forward in a series of steps. The high altar of 1906 was removed at this time, along with the contemporary marble altar rails, and modern fittings introduced. The alabaster and marble Sacred Heart altar was given by the Spanish community in the parish in 1908, and the Sacred Heart statue in 1913, but the reredos has since been lost. The timber Lady Altar dates from 1901 and the Stations of the Cross from 1903.

At the west end is an organ gallery supported on timber columns, with an open area below. The pine pews are original, and there are five stained glass memorial windows dating from the 1920s. The ceiling of both nave and chancel are stencilled, but probably not to the original designs.

Heritage Details

Architect: Pugin & Pugin

Original Date: 1900

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not Listed