St George's Church, Tyldesley
|Parish Church of St George, Tyldesley|
Parish Church of St George, Tyldesley, from the north
|Location||Lower Elliot Street, Tyldesley,
|Website||St George, Tyldesley|
|Consecrated||19 September 1825|
|Heritage designation||Grade II|
|Designated||18 July 1966|
|Architect(s)||Sir Robert Smirke|
(£1,490,000 as of 2013)
|Length||112 feet (34 m)|
|Width||60 feet (18 m)|
|Spire height||150 feet (46 m)|
|Parish||Tyldesley cum Shakerley|
St George's Church (grid reference SD688019) is an Anglican parish church serving Tyldesley and Shakerley in Greater Manchester, England. It is part of Leigh deanery in the archdeaconry of Salford and the diocese of Manchester. The church, together with St Stephen's and St. John's, is part of the united benefice of Astley, Tyldesley and Mosley Common.
A Waterloo Church, it was founded as a chapel of ease of the parish church in Leigh in 1825, in a rapidly expanding township. A mistake with plans led to a larger church than the site could accommodate and extra land and money was donated to ensure the church could be completed. The church was extended at the east end and re-seated in the 1880s and has survived two fires. The churchyard contains the graves of victims of a disaster at Yew Tree Colliery. In 1966 the church was designated a Grade II listed building.
Up to 1789, when the Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion built Tyldesley Top Chapel, the population of Tyldesley was dependent on the parish church in Leigh, the ancient ecclesiastical parish that, from medieval times, covered six townships. As the population grew quickly after 1800, a movement seeking to have an established church in the township developed. Thomas Johnson, owner of the Banks Estate gave a plot of land at the western end of the banks on which to build a Commissioners' Church, paid for by money from the parliament of the United Kingdom raised by the Church Building Act 1818, and said to be a celebration of Britain's victory in the Battle of Waterloo. £17,000 (£1,170,000 as of 2013), was promised by the Church Building Commissioners. The architect was Robert Smirke. It was one of 174 neo-Gothic and 40 Classical style churches built under the Act.
Work began in November 1821 and the foundation stone laid on 23 April 1822—St George's Day. As construction progressed, it was realised that the structure was too big for the site and that the plans had been inadvertently exchanged for the Church of St George in Chorley. Thomas Johnson's nephew, George Ormerod gave more land for the churchyard and £2,000 (£140,000 as of 2013), so that the church could be finished. Building work was completed in November 1824. Bells for the tower were transported on carts from Leigh on 10 August 1825 arriving to celebrations in the town when the largest bell was upturned and filled with ale supplied by all the local inns.
The chapel was consecrated on 19 September 1825 by the Bishop of Chester and dedicated to Saint George. It was originally licenced as a chapel of ease of Leigh Parish Church and known as St George's Chapel. Tyldesley became a district parish in August 1829. On the last day of 1833 the curate, the Reverend Jacob Robson, writing in the parish registers, signalled the change in the spelling of the village name from Tildesley to Tyldesley.
The chancel was extended at the east end in 1887 forming the sanctuary. The church pews also date from this time, having replaced the original box pews. In 1920 a War Memorial Chapel, known as the Lady Chapel was dedicated.
St George's has survived two fires, the first in 1878 when the upper west galley housing the choir and organ was destroyed causing their removal to the chancel. The second fire, in 1966, destroyed half the roof and part of the ceiling. In 1886 St John's Church, Mosley Common was built as a chapel-of-ease to St. George's.
Sandstone for St George's was quarried at Peel Quarry in Little Hulton. The church was built in the Early English Gothic style with a seven-bay nave and clerestory which, according to Pevsner have, "unconvincing Geometric aisle windows and squashed Y-tracery on the clerestory".. The chancel has two-light windows to the south and north walls and a three-light east window, all with geometrical tracery. There is a north vestry and a north porch in the westernmost bay. The church is 112 feet (34 m) in length and 60 feet (18 m) in width.
The tower at the west end of the church has a west door and rises in three stages to a parapet with crocketed pinnacles and flying buttresses at each corner to a recessed octagonal spire rising to 150 feet (46 m) in height. There is a lancet window at the second stage, and three lancet belfry openings and clock to each side of the third stage of the tower.
Fittings and furniture
The tower contains a peel eight bells, the original six were cast in 1825 by William Dobson at Downham Market in Norfolk. In 1910 the bells were rehung and two trebles by Mears and Stainbank added.
The first public clock in the town, with three faces was installed on the tower in 1847, paid for by public subscription. A four-faced clock installed in 1913, wound by hand until 1967, now has an electrical movement. After 1912 the town council was responsible for the cost of repairs and illumination and in 1937 electricity superseded gas for lighting its faces.
The church, when first built, could seat 1,100 people. There is a west gallery, originally there were two, the upper gallery was destroyed in a fire. The original 1825 font was replaced by a larger one in 1853 and in 1860 an organ was bought from Willis of London for £350 replacing a barrel organ given by George Ormerod when the church opened.
The stained glass in the east window was designed by William Pointer of Manchester and dates from 1956. On either side of the window are mosaic panels dated 1914, each of which depicts two evangelists. The stained-glass windows depicting saints in the north and south walls of the chancel date from the 19th century and were moved from Bishopscourt, the former palace of the Bishops of Manchester, in about 1958. Monuments include one dated 1855 showing a "grieving woman slumped over an urn" and a bronze plaque from 1924.
During its first hundred years, St George's Church had four incubents. Jacob Robson came to the church as curate in 1825, becoming vicar in 1842 although Tyldesley was made a parish in 1829. He died in 1851. His successor was George Richards who was vicar from 1851 to 1884, during which time 14 of the 25 victims of the Yew Tree Colliery firedamp explosion in 1858 were buried in the churchyard John Lund was the next incumbent, he oversaw the extension of the east end of the church in 1886 and the building of the vicarage in 1902. He was vicar for 36 years from 1884 until 1920. Samuel Fleming was vicar from 1920 until 1948.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: St George, Tyldesley|
- UK CPI inflation numbers based on data available from Lawrence H. Officer (2010) "What Were the UK Earnings and Prices Then?" MeasuringWorth.
- Leigh Deanery, anglican.org, retrieved 2 March 2010
- St Stephen, Astley, St Stephen's Church, retrieved 23 May 2011
- Lunn (1953), p. 110.
- Elliott Street (south side) Church of St George (1163277), National Heritage List for England, English Heritage, retrieved 16 January 2013.
- Parkinson-Bailey 2000, p. 58.
- Allred & Marsh 1975, p. 5.
- Allred & Marsh 1975, p. 6.
- Lunn 1953, p. 110.
- Allred & Marsh 1975, p. 9.
- Allred & Marsh 1975, p. 12.
- Allred & Marsh 1975, p. 14.
- Allred & Marsh 1975, p. 21.
- Farrer, William; Brownbill, J, eds. (1907), "Tyldesley with Shakerley", A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3 (British History Online): 439–445, retrieved 9 February 2010
- A Topographical Dictionary of England, British History Online, 1848, pp. 25–34, retrieved 27 November 2009
- Pevsner, Pollard & Sharples 2006, pp. 65-66.
- Bells, dove.cccbr.org, retrieved 2 May 2010
- Lunn 1953, p. 121.
- Pevsner, Pollard & Sharples 2006, p. 595.
- Allred & Marsh 1975, p. 10.
- Allred & Marsh 1975, p. 15.
- Allred, L.; Marsh, J. (1975), The Parish Church of St. George, Tyldesley, 150th Anniversary 1825–1975, St George's Church Tyldesley
- Lunn, John (1953), A short history of the Township of Tyldesley Unknown parameter
- Parkinson-Bailey, John (2000), Manchester: An Architectural History, Manchester University Press, ISBN 0-7190-5606-3
- Pevsner, Nikolaus; Pollard, Richard; Sharples, Joseph (2006), Buildings of England: Liverpool and the southwest, Yale University Press, ISBN 978-0-300-10910-8