Station Lane, Barton, Preston PR3 5DY.
A well-detailed early twentieth-century church in the Hansom/E.W. Pugin tradition but with some arts and crafts touches. Good internal furnishings, and some notable survivals from the previous church. The church has historical associations with William Cobbett.
A chapel dedicated to St Lawrence was built in 1742 by Fr Roger Brockholes of Claughton. This was replaced in 1806 by a church of the galleried nonconformist type, later very unfashionable: ‘Atticus’ (A. Hewitson, 1872) described it thus: ‘There is nothing architecturally attractive about its exterior…the interior is light clean and square looking’. The resident priest from 1818 was the Revd J. B. Marsh, a pupil of Dr Lingard (see Hornby St Mary) and a friend of William Cobbett. Cobbett was a regular visitor (he was a candidate for Preston in the 1826 election), and the road running alongside the church became known as Cobbett’s Lane. Fr Marsh built the present presbytery in c1820.
The church was rebuilt in 1906, its centenary year, at the expense of William Smith of Newsham House.
Coursed squared sandstone, paired lancet windows. E.W. Puginian west front with central buttress rising through projecting baptistery to bellcote. The entrance is through a porch on the south side with a timber framed gable. South side projecting Lady Chapel with two large dormers above with Dec tracery lighting east end of nave and sanctuary. Five-sided east end with three circular/wheel windows.
The south porch leads into a narthex area with a western baptistery (projecting). Main space consists of a nave with a timber roof (king posts and arched braces). A Lady Chapel gives off the (ritual) south side and on the north side the organ is placed in an arched recess.
Good oak furnishings of 1906 – high reredos with large painted figures (Crucifixion), high altar, pulpit and altar rails (relocated). New forward altar, ?stencil angel figures in spandrels on either side of wheel windows; windows richly glazed (possibly by Hardman). Ribbed sanctuary ceiling with panels painted blue with gold stars. Lean-to Lady Chapel giving off the (ritual) south side, Maria monogram stencilled between rafters. Stone altar in Lady Chapel with niche containing central figures of Virgin and child, pinnacles, good glass in small Dec window above.
The church has two statues (St Joseph and Christ child and Sacred Heart) by Ferdinand Stuflesser of the Tyrol. Nave and Lady Chapel benches with nicely carved endings, presumably 1906. At the west end of the nave, a brass wall tablet commemorating the donor of the church, William Smith (1849-1913), by Hardman of Birmingham.
Surviving items from the previous church(es):
There is a large burial ground on the south side of the church, with marked graves going back to 1813. Includes monuments to Revd Richard Gillow, parish priest here for twelve years, d. 1874.
The attached presbytery of c1820 has a projecting Tuscan portico with an arched landing window over. Interior not inspected. The building has been clad with pebbledash and the windows replaced with uPVC. There is a parish room attached to the presbytery, also pebbledashed.
Entry amended by AHP 20.12.2020
Architect: Not established
Original Date: 1906
Conservation Area: No
Listed Grade: Not Listed