© Mr Peter Sargeant
CHURCH OF ST MARY, SAINT MARYS WAY (north side)
LEIGH, WIGAN, GREATER MANCHESTER
Mr Peter Sargeant
03 December 2002
07 November 1966
Date of last amendment:
07 November 1966
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LEIGH SAINT MARYS WAY
07-NOV-1966 (North side)
1480/2/36 Church of St Mary
Church. 1869-73 but concealing a 1516 tower and with a vestry added in 1910. By Paley and Austin. Hammer-dressed sandstone with lead roof. Nave and chancel under a continuous roof with clerestory, aisles, side chapel and east tower. Gothic Revival in a Perpendicular style. 6-bay nave and 2-bay chancel with weathered buttresses, weathered plinth and castellated parapet. Each bay has a 3-light aisle window with rectilinear tracery and hoodmould and 2-light flat-headed clerestory windows. Statue within canopied niche in gable of porch in bay 1. The change from nave to chancel and aisle to side chapel is only expressed externally by a heavier buttress and diagonally set side chapel door and by enrichment to the parapet and larger clerestory lights. Octagonal pinnacled piers terminate the chancel which has a raked parapet and a S-light east window. The 1910 vestry is virtually free standing to the north. The tower, which is also castellated, retains the C16 studded oak west doors beneath an elliptical arch; it has weathered diagonal buttresses, a 3-light west window, and paired 2-light belfry openings below clock faces. Interior: C16 tower arch and evidence of original roofline and springing point of nave arcade. Octagonal piers support double-chamfered nave arcade arches. Tie-beam and hammer-beam roof trusses except in north aisle which reuses a roof from the earlier church with moulded cambered tie beams and cross beams. Stone font, sedilia and piscina. Timber fittings include an altar of 1705 by Thomas Naylor in Lady Chapel. Also brought from the earlier church are oak canopies from the wardens seats (1686) and a C18 brass candelabra. Encaustic tiles in choir and sanctuary.
Virtually all the fittings were designed by the architects and made by Messrs, Hatch of Lancaster. The elaborate chancel altar and reredos of 1890 were also made to the designs of the architects and painted and gilded by Shrigley and Hunt. Stained glass: windows in Lady Chapel, south aisle and several in north aisle by Shrigley and Hunt 1887-1933. Others by Kempe, 1905.
This is a fine example of Paley and Austin's grand style of church and it is one of their earliest. It is also a very early use of the Perpendicular style. The interior retains all its original fittings including the benches in the nave and the brilliantly painted altar and reredos stand out in contrast to the sombre oak.
E, Baines, History of Lancashire, 1888.