Building » Poulton-le-Fylde – St John the Evangelist

Poulton-le-Fylde – St John the Evangelist

Breck Road, Poulton-le-Fylde FY6 7HT

An early twentieth-century church by Pugin & Pugin, with fairly  strong architectural character. It is little altered, retaining interior fixtures, fittings and essential layout.

The original or early chapel and priest’s house survive just north of the church, dated 1813. Subsequent development of the site seems to have included the erection of the social club and parish rooms which have an abraded inscription suggesting they were originally a school. The lych gate is in the same slightly florid polychromatic style typical of the later nineteenth century. The land was given by the Fitzherbert-Brockholes of Claughton, and the church was built at the expense of Canon Vaughan (who also built Holy Family at Blackpool). The church was built by Pugin & Pugin, architects and cost £4,000. The present school lies to the southwest of the church and probably dates from the mid-1960s. The design, with a central hall with hyperbolic paraboloid roof is of local note.


Of rock-faced red Runcorn sandstone, giving a rugged look. The church has  a stronger and more sculptural appearance than some others by the same firm, giving it presence. In stripped Romanesque style, it has aisles and shallow gabled transepts, with a presbytery attached at the southeast side. The west front is strongly articulated by buttresses which frame the principal architectural elements and which start to die into the wall at the top as they rise to a bellcote. This motif is one typical of the later Pugin practices. There is a canopied niche with a statue over the door and a Latin inscription in an ashlar frieze which runs beneath.

Inside  there  is  a  timber  lobby,  a  stair  to  the  gallery,  north  side,  and  a former baptistery, south side. The aisles are expressed only in the panelled and timbered roof which rises over the nave, there are no arcades. At the west end the organ gallery has a canted balustraded pitch-pine front which projects forward of the west arch and is supported by posts with braces. The east end is framed in three arches; chapels of Our Lady (south) and St Joseph (north) on each side of the chancel. There is a continuous altar rail. The chapels have elaborate reredoses and altars of green marble and painted stone with statues in aedicules and paintings on gold ground. In the chancel the reredos is more elaborate, though in the same vein. All are by Boulton of Cheltenham.

There is a forward altar within the chancel, of late twentieth century date. The south transept has confessionals and the entrance to the presbytery. The pitch-pine bench seating appears to be original.

Ancillary buildings: Attached presbytery, contemporary with church. Chapel and Presbytery dated 1813 north of present church, listed Grade II. Social club and parish rooms, probably former school, c. 1860-70, northwest of church. Lych gate, c. 1860-70. Primary school, c. 1963.

Entry amended by AHP 20.12.2020

List description (former chapel and priest’s house)


Former Roman Catholic chapel and attached priest’s house, dated 1813. Brick now rendered slate roof. A rectangular range under one roof hipped at both ends, the chapel of 3 bays and one storey occupying the northern two-thirds of the range; entrance at north end now concealed by unsympathetic brick porch; datestone above inscribed “I have loved, O Lord, the beauty of thy house, and the place where they Glory dwelleth. AD 1813”, flanked by 2 semicircular “eye” windows; 3 tall round-headed windows of 2 lights with wooden Y-tracery in each side wall. Interior now partitioned across the middle. Presbytery 2 storeys, originally of 3 symmetrical bays with sashed windows, now partially concealed by ground floor lean-to across door and right window. Though altered, this building retains the form of a pre-Emancipation chapel.

Listing NGR: SD3530940017

Heritage Details

Architect: Pugin & Pugin

Original Date: 1912

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not Listed