Prescot Road, Ormskirk L39
A large mid-nineteenth century Decorated Gothic church built for the Benedictines by Weightman & Hadfield. The church is prominently located on a raised site, within a large burial ground. Richly polychromatic interior filled with carvings and furnishings of interest, including a high altar designed by Edmund Kirby. The character of the interior has been retained and enhanced in the reordering and redecoration of 2000-05.
The mission was established in 1732, and has always been served by Benedictines. The first Mass centre was at a house in Aughton Street, and served until a chapel was built in 1747 on land to the east of the present church (now occupied by the parish hall). This in turn was replaced by a further building in 1795, which served until the present church was built by George Caldwell OSB in 1850-1, from designs by Weightman & Hadfield.
See list description, below. This makes no reference to the architects, Weightman & Hadfield. The description is brief, and the following additional features should be noted (description follows conventional liturgical orientation rather than compass points):
Roman Catholic church. 1851, with some small extensions. Crazed sandstone cladding (perhaps on brick), with sandstone ashlar dressings and fishscale slate roof. Decorated style. Nave on north-south axis, with south tower, east and west aisles, north chancel with west chapel. The square tower, with angle-buttresses and a north- east stair-turret, has a plinth with massive moulded coping, a 2-centred arched trefoil-headed south doorway with deeply moulded surround and hoodmould with figured stops; an ogival-headed niche containing a statue of St Anne, a weathered band to the belfry stage which has louvred 2-light windows with hoodmoulds, and an embattled parapet and swept pyramidal roof. The 6-bay nave, with pilasters strips and corbel tables, has spherical-triangle clerestory windows. The aisles, with buttresses, have 2-centred arched 2-light windows with hoodmoulds which have foliated stops; and the west aisle, which carries across the side of the tower, has a gabled porch to the 2nd bay, with a double-chamfered 2-centred arched doorway, and at the north end a canted bay with blind arcading. The chapel to the north of this has 2 tall lancets in the side and a 2-centred arched window in the north gable, with reticulated tracery. Most windows have cast-iron diamond lattice glazing.
INTERIOR: conventional, with octagonal columns carrying double-chamfered aisle arcades. High alter designed by Edmund Kirby, a Liverpool architect, in 1874 and carved by Roddis, sculptor.
Architect: Weightman & Hadfield
Original Date: 1851
Conservation Area: No
Listed Grade: Grade II