Hall Road, Scarisbrick L40
An important building by Pugin & Pugin for the Marquis of Casteja of Scarisbrick Hall. It is a fine, generously-endowed work of architecture incorporating imported Continental woodwork almost certainly from the collection of Charles Scarisbrick of Scarisbrick Hall. The church is part of a group with Scarisbrick Hall and associated estate buildings. The Hall is one of the seminal buildings of the nineteenth century Gothic Revival in England.
The church was built on the site of an earlier building which is said to have been a tithe barn converted by Thomas Eccleston (a Scarisbrick who changed his name) in 1791. Scarisbrick Hall was the home of the recusant Scarisbrick family, and was rebuilt during the nineteenth century by three leading exponents of the Gothic Revival in England, Thomas Rickman, A. W. N. Pugin and E. W. Pugin. The Hall passed from Lady Anne Scarisbrick to her daughter who had married the Marquis de Casteja. The decision to rebuild the church using the successor firm to those responsible for most of the work at the hall reflects a desire for continuity and a public reaffirmation of the Catholic faith of the family.
The list description (below) is fairly comprehensive. In addition it may be noted that the west gallery is supported by stone arches. Side altars include one on the north side incorporating a First World War memorial and a Della Robbia-style panel given in 1923. Stained glass includes later nineteenth-century windows possibly by Hardman. The baptistery has gates of elaborate wrought ironwork with Latin text and fleur-de-lys cresting. Octagonal font on clustered marble piers. A mural monument with lively carved arms is signed and dedicates the church in memory of the Marchioness de Casteja ‘for the use especially of the Catholic tenantry of the Scarisbrick estate’. In the burial ground, in addition to the Marchioness’s tomb mentioned in the list description, there is a monument to Charles Scarisbrick, d. 1860, in the form of a very large cross on a plinth.
Roman Catholic church. 1888, by Pugin and Pugin. Rock-faced red sandstone, red tiled roof. Nave on north-south axis, with east aisle, south-east chapel, apse, north- east tower and north-west baptistery. Decorated style. North gable end, with tower to left and baptistery to right, and angle buttresses, has at the right-hand end of the gable of the nave a 2-centred arched doorway with recessed door and hoodmould with foliated stop, linked to a dripband carried over 3 cusped lancets at ground floor, above which is a carved panel with Gothic lettering “Sancta Elizabetha Ecclesia 1888”; above this, a large traceried 4-light window under a hoodmould with figured stops, a gable dripband, and a traceried gable eye. The tower has a doorway like the other but with figured stops, a window above with 2 cusped lights, above this 2 cusped lancets, then a tall belfry window of 2 louvred cinquefoil lights with a quatrefoil in the head, a Lombard frieze between the buttresses, and a pyramidal roof swept over bracketed eaves. Except for the door, the other sides of the tower match this. On the east side the buttressed 4-bay aisle has square-headed windows of 1, 3, 3 and 2 cusped lights, and the nave has gablets containing wide arched traceried windows; at the south end of the aisle is a square porch and the chapel with parallel pitched roof and windows like those in the aisle, and at the south gable of this a memorial to Eliza Margaret De Biaudos Scarisbrick, Marchioness de Casteja (d.1878), with a carved tripartite canopy and monumental slab enclosed by fleur-de-lys iron railings. The apse is 5-sided, with a window of 2 cinquefoil lights in each side, that in the centre raised into a gablet, and all under hoodmoulds with figured stops. The west side has tall 2-light windows with mouchette tracery, at the north end a 5-sided baptistery with cusped lancets, and at the south end a large gabled sacristy.
Interior: gallery at north end, over wide depressed arches forming an interior porch or narthex; aisle arcade of moulded arches on octagonal columns; arch-braced roof with Y-struts to principal rafters; arch-braced sanctuary roof with stencilled panels; chapel divided into 2 equal bays by a moulded stone arch, the ceiling painted blue with stencilled gold stars; on west side of nave a large elaborately carved wooden pulpit on a carved pedestal and approached by stairs also elaborately carved, probably Belgian, mid- to later C17 (Pevsner).
Architect: Pugin & Pugin
Original Date: 1888
Conservation Area: Yes
Listed Grade: Grade II