Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Chorley (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SD 51637 17848


ECCLESTON TOWNGATE SD 51 NW 9/103 Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary 17.4.67 (Formerly listed as Church of St Mary, Eccleston) GV II* Church, C14 and C15, altered in C18, restored in C19, and repaired c.1966. Squared red sandstone, stone slate roofs. Nave with south aisle under same roof, west tower, chancel with south chapel under same roof. Square 3-stage tower, mostly C14 but with C15 bell-stage and C18 parapet, has diagonal west buttresses up to the 2nd stage, which terminates in a chamfered coping, the bell-stage set back and finished with a parapet of ashlar; at ground floor in place of a west door is a modern window of 2 cusped lights, at second stage a clock-face and on the south side a little segmental-arched window to the ringing chamber; the belfry has louvred windows of 2 cusped lights and multifoil head, in moulded surround, with hoodmoulds; straight parapet has panelled corner posts bearing carved scallops each with a small weather vane. Buttressed three-bay south aisle and 2-bay chapel have a continuous wall with a dripcourse and embattled parapet, a sundial mounted on a raised cop in the centre, and the parapet stepped up at the west end in line with the porch; low gabled porch has gable coping with kneelers, wide 4-centre arched outer entrance chamfered in 2 orders with moulded imposts, remains of a small niche above, low stone side benches, and 2-centre arched inner door with 3 orders of hollow chamfer. The windows of the aisle (2) and chapel (2) are all double-chamfered with 4-centre arched heads and all of 3 arched lights with chamfered mullions (probably late C15), but in the centre of the chapel wall is a 2-centre arched priest's doorway with 2 orders of moulding (probably C14, re-set). The east gable has large C19 windows: 5 trefoiled lights to the chancel, and 3 lights with elaborate plate-traceried head to the chapel, both with hoodmoulds. Visible in the east gable of the nave, above the chancel roof, are 2 more steeply-pitched gable lines, one inside the other. The north wall of the nave, (upper level rebuilt in larger and less regular masonry), has 2 small buttresses, a doorway to the west bay matching the inner door of the porch, and three 2-light windows with imposts and arched plate-traceried heads (1868 remodelling of Georgian windows of c.1720-35, according to Pevsner). Interior: tower arch and chancel arch both probably early C14, continuously chamfered in 2 orders, the chancel arch with some blocked mortices at the springing, indicating removal of a former rood screen; 4-bay aisle arcade and 2-bay chapel arcade both late Perpendicular, with octagonal columns and moulded caps, 2-centre-arches chamfered in 2 orders (carved head above 1st aisle arch; simple round-arched piscina in chancel, another in chapel; between chancel and chapel a late C15 carved stone tomb-chest with a small brass of a priest; various C18 wall monuments, esp. Rev. John Douglas d.1766; and Rigbye do Harrock 1716 (cast bronze, with crested arms at top and skull and crossbones at bottom); C15 octagonal stone front with carved panels, including emblems of Stanley family. (Reference: VCH Lancs VI pp.155-161).

Listing NGR: SD5163717848


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

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Books and journals
Farrer, W, Brownbill, J, The Victoria History of the County of Lancaster, (1911), 155-161


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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Date: 29 Apr 2005
Reference: IOE01/14359/02
Rights: Copyright IoE Dr Ian Carney. Source Historic England Archive
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