Building » Southport – St Marie

Southport – St Marie

Seabank Road, Southport PR9

An early design by A.W.N. Pugin, which was published in the Dublin Review. Successive remodelling is of some quality and interest in itself, and the interior is rich and well-appointed. The building has group value, particularly with the early twentieth-century presbytery. 

St Marie began as a modest building without aisles. The architect A. W. N. Pugin recorded that he had ‘built a solemn church at Southport’ which was opened with ‘a perfectly disgusting display’ in 1841. It was extended by an unknown architect in 1852 and extended again by O. & E. Kenrick in 1875. In 1901 the chancel roof was raised and windows blocked to make room for a new altar and reredos. The west end of the building and parts of the sides visible from the road were faced in stone in 1924. The presbytery dates from 1914. In 1926 a large brick hall and social centre was built from designs by A. G. Gilbertson.


See list description, below. This can be augmented as follows. The north buttress only is a flying buttress, extending over a short semicircular stair tower. Buttresses are stepped and rise from broad bases. Aisle windows with Decorated-style tracery of varied designs. clerestory with small quatrefoil openings. The rear is of brick. Lower canted chancel with blocked window openings and a rose window which is obscured within by the reredos. All parts are separately expressed. The design is more powerful than the relatively small size might suggest, partly as a result of the strong articulation of the elements and the larger-than-necessary buttresses of the west front. The interior is approached through a narthex with a triplet of arched entrances. Open timber roof of thin members. Chancel arch with attached clustered demi-columns with foliated caps rising from angel corbels. The sanctuary is panelled and the roof is painted and stencilled. The elaborately traceried and canopied reredos was installed in 1901. It was designed by Peter Paul Pugin and made by Boultons of Cheltenham incorporating paintings by J. E. Pippet, who also did the ceiling paintings. A forward altar has been installed. Side altars, that of the Sacred Heart designed by G. & G. H. Halliwell in 1894. Statues by Mayer of Munich. There is a good scheme of stained glass, mainly of later nineteenth and twentieth century date, none of it signed. Some is probably by Hardman but a number of different studios are represented.

The attached presbytery (now a retired clergy home) is dated 1914. Free Elizabethan style. Of bright red brick with stone dressings, asymmetrical front with an offset arched entrance, right-hand side. A gabled bay has paired arched windows, an upper oriel and niche with statue in the gable. The left hand bay has a two-storey canted bay window. Between the outer bays is a striking full-height stair window with three arched lights and a stone panel across carved with arms. A smaller detached, stuccoed building is now the presbytery, probably mid-nineteenth-century in date.

List description


Roman Catholic church. Originally 1841, by Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin, enlarged 1852, rebuilt 1875, facade rebuilt in replica 1924. Portland stone facade with sandstone dressings, steeply-pitched 3-span roofs. STYLE: Decorated. PLAN: nave on north-east/south-west axis with side aisles under parallel roofs, 3- sided apse. Facade of 3 unequal gables. EXTERIOR: the gable of the nave has a full-width projected rectangular porch with a statue in a niche flanked by gabled entrances with 2-centred arched doorways, a pair of flying buttresses rising from the sides of the porch, under the left of these a semicircular vice with semi-conical roof, 3 unequal lancets between the buttresses, that in the centre shorter to allow for a rose window above, and a gabled bellcote. The flanking gables of the aisles, which are smaller, each have a 2-centred arched 3-light window with tracery. At the sides the aisles have 2-centred arched 2-light windows and the nave has segmental-pointed 2-light clerestory windows. INTERIOR: 7-bay aisle arcades of quatrefoil columns carrying 2-centred double- chamfered arches; collar-truss roof with king-struts, angle-struts and long straight braces from the wall posts; 5-sided organ and choir gallery at west end, supported on cast-iron columns; sanctuary with elaborate carved reredos.

Entry amended by AHP 11.01.2021

Heritage Details

Architect: A. W. N. Pugin

Original Date: 1841

Conservation Area: Yes

Listed Grade: Grade II