Building Name

Church of St Paul, Chester Road, Helsby

1868 - 1870
Chester Road (A56)
Cheshire, England
New build
Grade II
(1) John Thomas of Gwespyr, (2) H. Booth and J. Richards of South Tranmere

St Paul’s Church was built to the designs of John Douglas on a steeply sloping site at the foot of Helsby Hill and provided seating for 229 adults and 72 children. The original church comprised nave with towerless slate west spire; north transept; apsidal chancel. Paired lancets and very simple plate tracery. The south aisle, lady chapel and porch were added in 1908 to the designs of Douglas and Minshull. It was built of coursed rock-faced yellow sandstone, locally obtained, and graded green Westmorland slate roofs.

The Earl of Cholmondeley donated the site of the church and vicarage together with £100 towards the cost of construction. He also donated the building stone taken from “Ben’s Quarry” in the nearby Harmen’s Wood, sufficient to build the church, vicarage and boundary walls. The contract for building Helsby Church was signed on 8 January 1869 appointing John Thomas of Gwespyr, near Holywell as the constructor.  The contract price was £1,720 (including pews) later increased by £503 for raising the floor one foot higher than originally intended. Unfortunately, John Thomas ran into debt and was declared bankrupt during the course of the contract. In February 1870 H. Booth and J. Richards of South Tranmere were appointed to complete the works at a cost of £850. On Thursday 28 July 1870 by the Bishop of Chester, William Jocobson, D.D., consecrated the church.

The south aisle, Lady Chapel (formerly known as the Morning Chapel) and porch of the church were added in 1908 and were built to the design of Douglas and Minshull by J.G. Davies and Company, of Frodsham at a cost of £1,209 4s. The Lady Chapel was consecrated on 23rd January 1909 by the Bishop of Chester. 

NEW CHURCHES - The Bishop of Chester has recently consecrated the following new churches in various parts of his diocese: - On the 21st ult, Christ Church, Kensington, near Liverpool; on the 27th, St. David's, Wettenhall; on the 28th. St. Paul's, Helsby; on the 30th, St. Mary's, Dodleston. …. On Thursday week the hamlet of Helsby, one of the townships in the large parish of Frodsham, Cheshire, was the scene ºr of great rejoicing on the occasion of the consecration of a new church, designed by Mr. John Douglas, for the accommodation of 300 persons, at an expense of £2000, to which sum the late Archdeacon Greenall was by far the largest contributor. It is mainly to the unwearied exertions of the Rev. J. W. Dix, his great tact, and his business-like habits, that the church has been brought to its completion, in spite of many difficulties. [Illustrated London News 6 August 1870 page 139]

CHURCH OF SS. PETER AND PAUL, HELSBY, CHESHIRE - This church, which has recently been completed on the side of Helsby Hill, as a chapel of ease to the mother church of Frodsham, is built of the local grey sandstone, the roof being covered with Langdale green slates. The chancel windows have painted glass, by Hardman & Co., being the gift of the Vicar of the parish, the Rev. W. C. Cotton. Seating is provided for 300, and the cost has been a little over £2.000, Mr. John Douglas, of Chester, being the architect. [Building News 22 August 1873 vol 25 page 194 and illustration].