Westby Mills, Westby PR4 3PL
EW Pugin in ‘Roguish’ mode; eclectic gothic church and presbytery in the traditional Catholic stronghold of the Fylde.
The village of Westby and its environs were owned by the Clifton family, and the family had a large Catholic tenantry. In 1784 there were 360 communicants at Westby Hall chapel. The chapel was closed in 1845, so people had to travel to the new church at Kirkham. Recognising the need for a new church at Westby, Fr Hines of Kirkham organised the building of a new church. A site was purchased from the Cliftons through the generosity of Miss Dalton of Thurnham (qv). The church and presbytery, designed by EW Pugin, cost about £3000. Bishop Goss laid the foundation stone on May 31 1859. The local people gave much by way of voluntary labour, and the church opened on August 26 1860.
Church, 1861, by E W Pugin (Pevsner). Red brick with dressings of sandstone and blue brick, steeply pitched slate roof. Nave with full- height aisles making one vessel (on north-south axis) with apsidal sanctuary end and east porch, Eclectic Gothic style. Buttressed 6-bay nave, each bay with very large multi-foil circular window of sandstone set under a shallow depressed arch, a blue band and small corbel table running under the eaves above; gabled porch to 1st bay on east side, with moulded arch. South gable has 3 lancets to the nave flanked by shallow buttresses with set-offs of blue brick, a single lancet to each aisle, all these windows with sandstone surrounds and extrados bands of blue brick; in the gable a round window with 4 quatrefoils. Apse is semi- circular, broken in the centre by a shallow bay with a gable above the eaves, and has 4 cuspid lancets each side. INTERIOR: Unusual open timber roof: slim iron columns carry open-work wall plates, principals of the nave roof carried down through the aisles as passing braces from which rise arch braces to scissor trusses, which are prolonged to the outer walls in the plane of the aisle roofs. South gallery with Gothic- style pierced front. Stained glass windows of various dates of good quality.
Architect: E W Pugin
Original Date: 1861
Conservation Area: Yes
Listed Grade: II