1303/1/29 CHURCH ROAD
CHURCH OF ST NICHOLAS
Anglican church, 1839 enlarged in 1847, tower of 1882-3. By A Y & G Williams of Liverpool. Coursed red sandstone, slate roofs, tiled ridge crests, sandstone copings and kneelers, lead-lined timber rainwater goods. Early English style.
PLAN: Cruciform plan with SW tower, polygonal apse, NW organ gallery.
EXTERIOR: 3-bay nave (5 bays to NE side with 2 bays to NW end separated internally and converted to meeting area and vestry) with leaded and stained glass lancet windows. Windows have quoined surrounds, continuous dripmould to nave and transept side walls. Original panelled double doors to NW gable wall with pointed arched surround, flanked by leaded lancet windows, plain leaded triple lancet window above with taller centre light. N & S transepts with diagonal corner buttresses. Both have triple lancet windows to gable ends with taller centre lights, dripmoulds, and small quatrefoil window above. Two lancet windows to NW wall of each transept in same style as nave. 3-gabled polygonal apse to SE end, hipped roof to central area behind gables with tiled ridge and hips. Triple lancet windows to all 3 sides, dripmoulds, plain water spouts to outer angles. Slender external 3-stage octagonal chimney with arrow-loop windows and a conical cap attached to NE corner of apse and N transept (part of coke and subsequently oil fired heating system). Short stair to NE side of apse leads to basement room. 4-stage SW tower with full-height angled buttresses, crenellated parapet with corner crocketed pinnacles. SW elevation has multi-chamfered pointed arch doorway with large partly glazed modern oak door (originally open porch), two small lancet windows with continuous hoodmould to 2nd stage, decorative band above, clock set within square recessed panel to 3rd stage, projecting stringcourse above with large 2-light paired arched belfry windows to all four sides. Second arched opening to NW side, infilled with panelled oak screen (glazed to upper part), with three similar lancet windows to 2nd stage, and projecting stringcourse above. External stair tower with narrow cusped arrow-loop windows attached to SE side of tower and rising to 2nd stage.
INTERIOR: Plastered walls, stone flag floor (some under carpet). 2006/07 replaced tiled floor to former open porch of tower matches original design, timber door to SE side of former porch with segmental pointed head and decorative strap hinges leads into stair tower. Wide nave and short transepts with box pews and hammerbeam roofs. Eagle and child emblem of Lord Derby depicted on end of each hammerbeam. Nave lit by 3 leaded lancet windows to each side with stained glass depictions of saints, the Virgin Mary and Christ; those to S side by Burne-Jones (1874) represent St Timothy, St Paul & Melchisedek. Large triple lancet windows by W H Sullivan (1871) to each transept gable wall; complete pictorial scene to N transept window depicts the meeting of St Philip with the Eunuch, children's window to S transept depicts number of different bible stories. Two lancet windows to W wall of N transept by Burne-Jones depict Mary the Virgin and St Elizabeth. Two further windows to S transept, also by Burne-Jones, depict St Dorothy and St Cecilia. Triple lancet windows to side walls of apse by Burne-Jones depict St Matthew, two flying angels with long trumpets, St Mark, St Luke, and St John (all date to c.1882). Triple lancet window (1892) behind altar with centre light by Burne-Jones depicting St Nicholas of Myra; flanking side lights by William Morris depict a flying angel with a T-shaped dulcimer and an angel with an organ. Plain panelled reredos to rear of apse, pierced and partly painted timber altar rail with carved angel finials, chequerboard parquet floor to apse. Modern altar on raised platform in front of apse. Carved timber pulpit. Organ gallery to NW end of nave accessed by a timber dog-leg stair to rear of church, Henry Willis organ, console moved from front of gallery to N transept. Modernised area beneath gallery (originally part of nave) separated from nave by a glazed oak screen, lancet window to N wall by Burne-Jones depicting Adoration of the Magi. Modern curved internal wall to W side with several oak doors leading to a toilet, vestry, original entrance door, and gallery stair.
HISTORY: The Church of St Nicholas was constructed as a chapel of ease in 1839 to the designs of Messrs A Y & G Williams of Liverpool. In 1847 the church was enlarged through the addition of transepts and a small polygonal apse (rebuilt in 1894). The organ gallery is also believed to have been inserted at this time. The tower was added in 1882-3 and is by Cornelius Sherlock. During the 1870s-90s stained glass by Morris & Co. and W H Sullivan of Liverpool was installed.
The church received electricity in the 1930s and chandeliers were installed in the 1950s.
The building was re-roofed in 2004/5. The open porch to the tower was enclosed in early 2007 to dissuade vandalism. A toilet was also inserted to the rear of the church at this time along with the creation of a new vestry and a new screen leading into the nave.
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION DECISION:
The Church of St Nicholas is designated at grade II for the following principal reasons:
* It is a well detailed and imposing mid-C19 Anglican church in Early English style
* The building has not incurred unsympathetic alteration or addition and retains its original historic character
* The interior has impressive hammerbeam roofs to the nave and transepts and retains its box pews
* Highly decorative stained glass windows include notable works by Burne-Jones and William Morris