Building » Mawdesley – St Peter and St Paul

Mawdesley – St Peter and St Paul

Ridley Lane, Mawdesley, Ormskirk L40

A good example of an early post-Emancipation chapel, which follows broadly late Georgian style in terms of massing but features Gothic detailing to the windows and elements of the interior. The site on the edge of a settlement with the attached presbytery facing the road is typical of the self-effacing style often adopted at this time. The church retains a substantially unaltered exterior with apparently original glazing detail of Gothick type. The interior has been altered but broadly retains historic character. A good example of a church and presbytery of the date and type.

The church was built in 1830-1 and is an example of many in North Lancashire built soon after Emancipation which nevertheless adopted a retiring approach in terms of location and architectural appearance. Before this, services had been held in private houses in the area, notably at Lane Ends House in the village, which is said to retain a room used as a chapel in the eighteenth century.

The name of the architect is not known, and the attribution to Edmund Sharpe in the Directory is mistaken. Sharpe designed the Anglican parish church in Mawdesley but did not commence practice until 1836. It is possible Sharpe or a successor practice contributed to later alterations but no record of such involvement has been identified.


See list entry, below. Additional points: A small lobby at the west end probably replaced a gallery and is of twentieth century date. Shallow sanctuary with a pointed arch and attached columns framing a recess with canted sides. Slender attached shafts along the sides rise to support ribs. This could be original but may represent remodelling of later nineteenth century date. The shafts, ribs and east wall are decorated with stencilled IHS monograms and fleur-de-lys designs. A Crucifixus is placed on the wall above the altar. Ceiling with attractive plasterwork roundels and similar quadrants at the corners. Forward altar in the sanctuary and ambo are modern, pitch-pine bench seating and polygonal pulpit are probably late nineteenth century.  Brass First World War memorial. Tablet commemorating Thomas Dawson placed high up above the west lobby, partially legible.

List description


Roman Catholic church and attached presbytery. 1830-31. Coursed squared sandstone, slate roof with red ridging tiles. T-plan; 3-bay church with 4-bay house at south end. Church has rusticated quoins, buttresses with offsets; entry at north east gable end which has an added single-storey gabled porch in Gothic style at 1st floor 2 small vertical rectangular windows with plain architraves and square hoodmoulds, each window of 2 lights with diamond lattice glazing continued in the head as intersecting tracery, above these a plain band giving the impression of a pedimented gable, and a gable bellcote; 3-bay side walls have one window in each bay, all like those in the gable but larger. Interior: flat ceiling; small sanctuary formed by multiple diminishing chamfered arches. Presbytery is double-depth, 4 bays, 2 storeys, has rusticated quoins, hipped slate roof, glazed porch to 3rd bay covering a recessed panelled door with moulded surround and rectangular fanlight, and 12-pane sashed windows with plain surrounds. Interior not inspected.

Heritage Details

Architect: Not known

Original Date: 1830

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Grade II