Building » Windleshaw – St Thomas of Canterbury

Windleshaw – St Thomas of Canterbury

Dentons Green Lane, Windleshaw, St Helens WA10

The church stands in a conspicuous position in the streetscape and is a work of Pugin & Pugin, a well-known firm of Catholic church architects. Although modest, the design is inventive. The interior retains much of its original character.

A mission was established in 1893 and services were originally held in the school chapel, opened that year. The foundation stone of the new church was laid in July 1910.

The church is built of quarry-faced red sandstone, with roof coverings of slate. The plan is simple, but produces a complex outline. The main body of the church is the tall nave and sanctuary under one roof. At the west end is a two-storey projecting porch, with twin door openings and three lancet windows above. In the west gable is a traceried circular window. Attached to the northwest corner of the nave is a modest square tower, apparently modelled on that of the medieval Chapel of St Thomas, known as Windleshaw Abbey, whose remains stand in the cemetery on Rainford Road. Only the centre section of the nave is aisled on either side, and the aisles have their own pitched roofs, with two two-light windows and an upstanding central gable containing a two-light traceried window. The south aisle is partly obscured by a single-storey link to the presbytery. The link is of one main storey over a basement, and has stone mullioned windows. The presbytery is attached to the southeast corner of the church.

The interior has plastered and painted walls. The nave arcades are each of three bays of wide pointed arches carried on octagonal stone piers. The main arcade is continued as wall arches for two bays at the west end of the church, with two narrower arches dividing the sanctuary from the side chapels at the eastern end. The nave roof is canted and boarded, with the timber main trusses continued down onto timber wall-shafts with stone corbels. The windows are mainly clear glazed. The sanctuary was reordered in 1988.

Heritage Details

Architect: Pugin & Pugin

Original Date: 1910

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not Listed