Building » Ormskirk – St Anne

Ormskirk – St Anne

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):

  • There is a datestone inscribed 1668. IED / R B FECIT set into the wall near the north chapel, of unknown provenance
  • Early twentieth century windows in the aisles, one signed by Hardman (Pevsner) and the rest also presumably from his studio
  • There is a western organ gallery, its underside enclosed with glass as part of the recent redecoration and reordering, to form a sound-proof area, with WCs off
  • The timber forward altar on raised dais, lighting and bright polychromatic stencil decoration also date from that redecoration and reordering
  • A richly-detailed Gothic sanctuary lamp hanging over the forward altar
  • Polychrome figures of Our Lady and St Joseph under canopies on either side of the chancel arch
  • Wood panelled chapel of St Benedict to south of chancel, with polychrome altar with saints under gilded canopies
  • Fine alabaster monument to George Caldwell OSB (d.1870), builder of the church, with figure of St Anne
  • Polychrome altar in the south aisle with low-relief carving of the Pieta under a canopy, flanked by panels listing the Benedictines serving the mission
  • On either side of the western gallery, large kneeling angels bearing holy water stoups, in memory of Dom B. Rigby OSB (died 1902)
  • Stations of the Cross from 1873, with the names of donors recorded
  • Plain pine pews
  • Outside the church, a timber framed and clad Gothic covered walkway on a brick and stone plinth (photo) links the sacristy and (modern) presbytery. It has an encaustic tile floor.
  • On the boundary with Prescot Road is a stone war memorial, of obelisk form with an aedicule at the top containing a sandstone Crucifixion with a recumbent figure of a soldier.

List description


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.

Heritage Details

Architect: Weightman & Hadfield

Original Date: 1851

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Grade II