CHURCH OF ST PAUL
- Heritage Category:
- Listed Building
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
- Statutory Address:
- CHURCH OF ST PAUL, CHURCH CRESCENT
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- Statutory Address:
- CHURCH OF ST PAUL, CHURCH CRESCENT
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Wirral (Metropolitan Authority)
- National Grid Reference:
- SJ 32278 90754
Reasons for Designation
St. Paul's Church is designation at grade II for the following principal reasons:
* It is an impressive and well detailed mid C19 Anglican church in C13 Gothic style, exhibiting an early grasp on Gothic Revival. * The later C19 growth of the building is in keeping with the original building and has added features of architectural interest * The building has been little altered and retains its original historic character and features * The church has special historic interest in acting as a landmark for ships navigating their way on the River Mersey during the mid-late C19, and remains as a prominent feature within the local area that can be observed from across the river in Liverpool * It has group value with the grade II listed Seacombe Ferry Terminal situated directly below and aligned with the church, through their shared association with the history of navigation on the River Mersey during the C19 & C20
1916/0/10044 CHURCH CRESCENT 12-MAR-09 CHURCH OF ST PAUL
II Anglican church. 1846-7, extended 1859 and 1891. By John Hay. Snecked sandstone, Welsh slate roofs with sandstone copings, cross finials of varying design. C13 Gothic style. North & South side aisles, North transept, North West steeple.
EXTERIOR: Early English style buttresses to all elevations. Projecting stringcourse below windows. Pointed arched windows to all elevations with geometrical and curvilinear stone tracery of varying designs, hoodmoulds with carved stops to all windows. 7-bay nave with dormer-style clerestory windows to South side containing trefoil shaped leaded light windows with cusped bargeboards. South side aisle: 7-bays. Ashlar quoining to window surrounds, plain leaded glazing, windows to each end return. Entrance porch to bay 2 with steeply pitched roof, pointed arched opening with hoodmould and carved stops, geometric patterned tiled floor, stone benches, panelled ceiling, narrow arrow loop style windows to each side, South doorway set within porch with pointed arched ashlar surround, panelled timber double doors with decorative strap hinges. Lower 2-bay chancel to East end of nave with paired stained glass lancet windows with segmental pointed heads, cusped lights, dentil cornice above (rear elevation in same style), tall traceried 3-light East window. Large traceried 4-light West window with plain leaded glazing, trefoil window to gable apex above, six narrow stained glass lancet windows with cusped heads to ground floor level, semi-hexagonal stair turret to right (leads to choir balcony). Steeple: 3-stage tower with spire above, top of spire removed and capped with gilded crown. Full-height set-back buttresses. Large triple chamfered pointed arched doorway to West wall incorporating slender columns, slender recessed lancet window to North wall incorporating some stained glass. Slender recessed lancet window to West wall of second stage, 2-light traceried window to North wall (both with leaded glazing). Paired windows to third stage (in style of a belfry to West wall). Gablets to base and main body of spire (larger to base), pinnacles to each corner. North side aisle: 6-bays. Wide transept with M-shaped roof and large stained glass windows to bays 2 & 3 forming Lady Chapel. Windows in similar style to those to South aisle with plain leaded glazing, small paired stained glass lancets with shaped heads to far right, stained glass windows to far left bay and East end return, chimneystack to East end return. Small lean-to vestry attached to East end of North aisle in front of chancel with segmental pointed doorway to North side containing panelled timber door with arched window to left, additional doorway to East return with paired lancet windows to right.
INTERIOR: Plastered walls, original floorboards (except to small replaced area to West end of nave), parquet floor to chancel. C19 pews installed from nearby redundant church in C20. Nave: High scissor-braced roof trusses to nave with decorative pendants, supported by carved stone corbels in form of angels, decorative trefoil shaped clerestory windows along South side with leaded glazing. 5-bay nave arcades with clustered piers and carved capitals. Timber choir balcony (benches removed) with square panelled front set to West end of nave, splayed door to rear left of balcony leads to stone winder stair lit by narrow leaded-light lancets leading down to South aisle, door to rear right leads into steeple. Six slender cusped stained glass lancets set within deep splayed reveals beneath West window and choir balcony depict floral imagery, panelled timber double doors to right (North) wall set within pointed arched surround lead into base of steeple and West entrance. Lancet window to North wall of steeple base with patterned leaded glazing and stained glass, door to East wall with strap hinges. Chancel: Moulded chancel arch, arched braced roof trusses with painted panelled ceiling, tall timber panelled dado dating to 1930, gilded inscription to panelling behind altar reads 'Bene dictus qui venit in nomine domini' (words of the Sanctus). Stained glass East window depicts St. Paul and ecclesiastical arms of See of Chester and Archiepiscopal See of York. Patterned stained glass chancel windows incorporate agricultural and religious imagery and symbols including 'Alpha & Omega - the beginning and the end', and 'IHS - Greek abbreviation of Jesus' name'. Carved choir stalls, timber and wrought iron altar rail with gilded decoration. Carved octagonal stone pulpit to left of chancel arch incorporating short coloured marble shafts displays alpha and omega symbols and 'IHS'. North side aisle: Arched braced roof trusses supported on stone corbels. 2-bay arcade with dividing octagonal pier leads to North transept (Lady Chapel). Left window to Lady Chapel depicts Ascension, Christ the Good Shepherd, & Christ with the children. Right window depicts Jesus healing Jairus' daughter. Small paired patterned stained glass lancets to West end of North aisle's North wall depict imagery of flora (donated by the church Sunday School, 1891). Traceried 2-light memorial window to right of Lady Chapel with patterned stained glass and floral imagery. Stained glass 2-light window to East end of North aisle depicts Presentation of Christ in the Temple (donated by the church Sunday School, 1892). Later choir vestry constructed of timber panels with built-in cupboards and timber fire surround set to NE corner of North aisle, choir vestry leads into original vicar's vestry and North entrance. Panelled North entrance vestibule with panelled doors. South side aisle: Timber panelled lean-to roof with timbers supported on stone corbels. Early C20 carved sandstone font and Henry Willis & Sons organ to East end of South aisle.
SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: Sandstone lychgate to South side of churchyard with steeply pitched sides and arched entrance with dogtooth mouldings. Churchyard enclosed by low sandstone wall surmounted by iron railings.
HISTORY: St Paul's Church was built in 1846-7 to the designs of John Hay, partner in the 'Hays of Liverpool' architectural firm with William and James Hay, and president of the Liverpool Architectural & Archaeological Society 1854-6. It was consecrated on the 12th October 1847 and the spire was completed in 1849. The church was extended in 1859 through the addition of a South aisle (the 1st edition OS map published in 1876 depicts the South aisle already in situ by this time), and again in 1891 when a North aisle and Lady Chapel, and a West gallery/choir balcony were added. Most of the stained glass within the building dates to 1890-92. In the late 1940s/1950s, following bomb damage incurred during World War II, most of the chancel was rebuilt including the East window, which had been completely destroyed. The benches on the choir balcony were removed in the mid C20, and the area is now used for storage. The pews in the church are replacements from St. Peter's Church, Birkenhead and were installed in the C20. The organ was produced by Henry Willis & Sons and was installed in 1920. The carved stone font also dates to the 1920s. As the area of Seacombe began to be developed in the mid-late C19 from its origins as an agricultural hamlet, St. Paul's Church was one of the first buildings to be constructed, and it acted as a focal point around which the town grew and developed. The church was built to serve both the local agricultural community and wealthy parishioners who made their living in Liverpool, but who lived in large houses in the Seacombe area. The church was sited on a raised plateau above the River Mersey in order to dominate the view from the ferry buildings below, and the view from Liverpool itself across the river. A parish school was constructed nearby to the church in the c.1860s, which ceased use in 1933. During the 1920s-mid C20 the area of Seacombe suffered from great deprivation and poverty, as the original wealthy inhabitants and families moved away. As a result the church suffered from years of neglect due to a lack of funding. This eventually led to the removal of the top 20ft of the spire in the mid C20, as the fabric had become unsafe. The modern late C20 replacement crown was made at the Cammell Lairds shipyard in Birkenhead.
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION St. Paul's Church is designated at grade II for the following principal reasons:
* It is an impressive and well detailed mid C19 Anglican church in C13 Gothic style, exhibiting an grasp on Gothic Revival. * The later C19 growth of the building is in keeping with the original building and has added features of architectural interest * The building has been little altered and retains its original historic character and features * The church has special historic interest in acting as a landmark for ships navigating their way on the River Mersey during the mid-late C19, and remains as a prominent feature within the local area that can be observed from across the river in Liverpool * It has group value with the grade II listed Seacombe Ferry Terminal situated directly below and aligned with the church, through their shared association with the history of navigation on the River Mersey during the C19 & C20
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
- Legacy System number:
- Legacy System:
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