Building Name

St. Mary's Church, Wrexham Road, Pulford, Cheshire

1881 - 1884
Wrexham Road
Pulford, Chester
Cheshire, England
Duke of Westminster
New build
Grade II*
George Parker, of Eccleston


LAYING THE FOUNDATION STONE OF THE NEW CHURCH AT PULFORD - The new church of Pulford was commenced in the early part of June. 1881, and will probably be finished within the next eighteen months, the architect being Mr Douglas, of Chester, and the builder Mr G. Parker, of Eccleston. The old church has not been built more than 40 years, and would have stood for many years longer, but owing to the dilapidated state of the roof it was decided to build a new one at the expense of His Grace the Duke of Westminster, K.G. [Wrexham and Denbighshire Advertiser 20 August 1881 page 3]

ST. MARY'S CHURCH, PULFORD - This church, which is now being erected at the sole cost of His Grace the Duke of Westminster, is situated about five miles from Chester, on the Wrexham-road, the site being just outside of the boundary of Eaton Park. The plan of the church consists of a nave, porch under the tower (which is placed at the north-west angle), chancel, and north and south transepts. The north transept is fitted up with the children's seats, and in the south one is the organ-chamber and vestry. The total accommodation provided is 277. The walls of the building inside and out are of local red stone, the outside scutch-faced and the inside chiselled. The roof, which externally is covered with brown Ruabon tiles, is composed of principals, purlins, and rafters, the whole of which, together with the rest of the woodwork, is of oak. The spire is of timber framing covered with oak shingles. The east and west windows are to be filled in with painted glass by Messrs. Heaton, Butler & Bayne, and the organ is being made by Messrs. Whiteley, of Chester. Provision has been made for heating the church by means of hot water. The masonry has been executed in an admirable manner by Mr. George Parker, builder, of Eccleston, and the woodwork is being carried out by the estate workmen, under the superintendence of Mr. Powis. The architect is Mr. John Douglas, of Chester. [The Architect 7 April 1883 page 230 + two illustrations)


PULFORD - On Monday a new church, erected at the cost of the Duke of Westminster, was consecrated at Pulford, near Eaton Hall, Chester. The building was commenced in July 1881, and has recently been completed. It is of red sandstone, and the style adopted is the Early Geometrical Gothic, the spiro being shingled, with turrets at the angles. The Duke of West minster has provided the church with eastern and western windows of stained glass, by Heaton, Butler, and Bayne, costing £600; has fitted it with an organ; supplied it with six bells, by Taylor, of Loughborough; and with open seats, carved by his own art workmen from Eaton Hall. The architect is Mr. John Douglas, of Chester, whose picturesque work proves the most striking feature of the rural architecture of Eaton, Eccleston, and the other villages surrounding the hall. The builder was Mr. George Parker, of Eccleston. The total cost was £9,000. [Building News 4 January 1884 page 35]

CONSECRATION AND OPENING OF PULFORD NEW CHURCH. On Tuesday (New Year's Day) the new and beautiful church at Pulford which has been erected and presented to the parish through the munificence of his Grace the Duke of Westminster, was formally opened and consecrated, together with the piece of land (also the gift of the Duke), which have been added to the churchyard on the east and west sides of the church. The new building has been erected upon the exact spot occupied by the old church, at the entrance to the Pulford drive of the Eaton Park and replaces the old and somewhat dilapidated structure by a handsome church lying east and west, having a well-proportioned tower and spire at the south-west angle. Externally the new building presents a pleasing and comely appearance, to which the warm colour of the local stone and the rich red tone of the roofing add considerably. Entering the church through a porch occupying the ground stage of the tower, we find the time-honoured cruciform lines have been adopted for the plan, the longer arms of the cross being devoted to the nave and the shorter arms to the chancel and transepts, that on the south side forming the organ chamber and vestry, and the opposite one, the north transept, containing the seats for the children, and these, together with the seats in the nave, provide accommodation for a total of some 300 people. The local red stone, with bands of lighter colour as on the outside, has been used for the inside walls, also, and this, together with the substantial oak roof, combines to give an appearance of equal solidity and thoroughness to the interior. Four-light traceried windows on either side and a large one, in six compartments, at the west end light the nave; this latter is filled with stained glass. We should not omit to notice, while at this end of the church, the stone font with a wrought iron cover of somewhat unique design. Passing along the aisle, bounded on either side by the oak seats. the next object calling for attention before leaving this part of the church is an eagle lectern in oak, and the pulpit of the same material standing upon a stone base, forming as it were a part of the screen dividing nave from chancel, and passing through which we now enter the latter, and remark in the first place the appropriate oak prayer desks and choir seats, and on the north side the traceried and panelled oaken case of the organ, supplied by Mr Whitely, of Chester. We now come to the communion rails at the entrance of the sacrarium. There are of wrought iron and are the handiwork of a local smith—Mr Swindley, of Eccleston—who also made the cover for the font, the hinges, and other iron. work in connection with the doors. A sedilia, or seat for the clergy, has been arranged below the window on the north side, and on the south a piscina in the wall has been provided. But the central and most important feature of the chancel is the east wall, with its altar table and reredos, surmounted by a large stained-glass window, which, with the corresponding one at the west end. is from the studio of Messrs Heaton, Butler, and Bayne, London. The reredos consists of an oak framework, having for its centre-piece a large panel, on which is depicted in monochrome the Nativity, and on either side the Adoration of the Magi and the Shepherds, the artists for these being Messrs Shrigley and Hunt, of Lancaster. Local tradesmen have been employed in carrying out the various works as far as possible. The whole of the stonework has been executed in a most admirable manner by Mr George Parker, of Eccleston, and the woodwork in an equally satisfactory way by the estate workmen. Provision for the heating has been made by a system of hot water pipes supplied by Messrs Wood and Son, of Bridge-street, Chester; the lead glazing has been made by Messrs D. Williams and Son, of Frodsham-street, the whole being carried out under the direction of the architect, Mr John Douglas. At a rough estimate the building may be said to have cost £8,000. The church has a peal of six fine-toned bells, which have been hung by the well-known firm of Messrs Taylor, of Loughborough. The consecration service, which commenced shortly before noon, was conducted by Bishop Kelly, Archdeacon of Macclesfield, in the absence of the Bishop of Chester.  [Wrexham and Denbighshire Advertiser 4 January 1884 page 6]


Reference        Wrexham and Denbighshire Advertiser 20 August 1881 page 3
Reference        The Architect 7 April 1883 page 230 + two illustrations
Reference        Building News 4 January 1884 page 35
Reference        Wrexham and Denbighshire Advertiser 4 January 1884 page 6