Building Name

Unitarian Chapel Bank Street Bury

Bank Street
GMCA, England
New build

Cost £6000: The building featured foliated gable crosses which Crowther probably copied from "Instrumenta Ecclesia" (Cambridge Camden Society) drawn by Butterfield, Carpenter.

TO BUILDERS AND OTHERS - Persons desirous of CONTRACTING for the whole or any one of the several works required to be done in the ERECTION and COMPLETION of a PRESBYTERIAN CHAPEL, at Bury, Lancashire, may see the Drawings and Specifications, at the offices of the Architects, Messrs. BOWMAN and CROWTHER 68 George-street, Manchester, from Monday, the 1st until Saturday. the 13th of April next, both inclusive, between the hours of ten and five.—Sealed Tenders, addressed to John Grundy, Esq, Outwood Lodge, chapel warden, 6 be delivered at the offices the Architects, free of charge, on or before Monday, the 15th of April next. It is to be distinctly understood that the committee do not pledge themselves to accept the lowest tender. [Manchester Courier 29 March 1851 page 6]

OPENING OF A NEW CHAPEL - On Friday 22nd instant the Presbyterian Chapel erected in Bank Street, Bury, was opened for public worship. .....  The edifice does great credit to the architects, Messrs Bowman and Crowther, Manchester. It stands precisely on the spot of the old one, close to the East Lancashire Company’s railway station; covering, however, a somewhat larger area. It is cruciform in plan; the greatest length lying north and south, fills up the whole depth of the ground; the northern end, (where is the principal entrance), comes close to the line of the street. The building consists of a nave, four bays in length, divided longitudinally by two rows of stone pillars and pointed arches, into centre and side aisles; a chancel, two bays in length, similarly divided; and two transepts on the east and west sides, opening into the nave near its junction with the chancel, by pointed arches of larger and loftier dimensions than the rest. The transepts project beyond the general line of the building. A lofty pointed arch dorms the separation between the nave and the chancel; and the side aisles, both of nave and chancel are separated in a similar manner from the transepts. The total length of the interior from north to south is 81 feet 6 inches; the total width of nave and chancel is 48 feet 10 inches; and the width across the transepts is 68 feet 4 inches. The building is designed in the style of ecclesiastical architecture which prevailed in England during the 15th century, and is usually designated the late pointed, or perpendicular. The nave and chancel are of equal width and height, and externally the roof presents one unbroken line against the sky; but internally these two portions are divided by the arch above-mentioned. The roofs of the side aisles are much lower, and between them and the main centred roof, rises the clerestory wall. The roofs of the transepts abut against this wall, and are therefore higher than those of the aisles but lower than those of the nave and chancel. The arrangement of the north end, or front corresponds (as it ought) with that of the interior nave and aisles, of which it forms the external termination. The centre portion of the front is separated from the sides by semi-octagonal turrets, which correspond in position with the internal rows of pillars and arches; and contain winding staircases leading to the roofs. Above the foot of the gable are complete octagons, panelled and surmounted by crocketted spirelets and gilt vanes. In the lower stages of this front=s centre are three open archways giving access to a vestibule from which two doorways open into the chapel. These archways have their jambs enriched with moulded capitals and bases, and the arched heads are elaborately moulded. The archways are separated from each other by small buttresses surmounted by pinnacles, and the spandrels are filled with carved ornamental panels. Above these archways, and separated from them by a rich cornice or string course, ornamented with paterae, is a row of trefoil-headed panels; and above is a large five-light window, the head filled with tracery. The gable surmounting this, which forms the termination of the nave roof, is finished at the apex with a bell turret, ornamented with canopies and pinnacles, and surmounted by a pyramidal crocketted roof. This, as well as the spirelets to the octagonal turrets, is terminated by a metal gilt cross. The sides of the north front, forming the ends of the side aisles, have each a three light window, a parapet and cornice enriched with paterae. The external angles of the building at this end, as well as the opposite or south end, have coupled buttresses, set at right angles on each face of the wall, with panelled and crocketted pinnacles surmounting the whole, and standing on the angle of the wall. The south front is similar in general disposition to that just described; but in place of the octagonal turrets it has simple buttresses. The centre window is of five lights, and those at the ends of the chancel aisles of three lights each. The centre gable of this front terminates in an ornamental stone cross finial. The east and west side elevations, similar in most respects, have each thrre-light windows in the nave and chancel, with the transept projection intermediate. Both transepts are lighted by four-light windows and the gables ornamented by ornamental stone cross finials. At one angle is an octagonal projection containing a winding staircase to the transept galleries, for the Sunday scholars. In the east transept front is also a second entrance into the body of the chapel. The clerestory is pierced with coupled windows in a pair over each of the internal arches. There is also a gallery at the north end, extending quite across the chapel, with access by a stair at each side; the entrances being on the east and west fronts close to the north end; but having communication with the ground floor of the chapel. The southernmost bay of the east chancel aisle (the corner of the chapel to the left of the communion table) is partitioned off by an ornamental screen, and forms the vestry; and the corresponding compartment or corner on the west side contains the organ. Immediately in front of the communion enclosure are the seats for the singers, which are thus brought close to the organ and to the pulpit and on a level with the bulk of the congregation. The choir sit on four very handsomely carved benches face to face, in front of the communion rails. The effect is particularly good, and the music fills the chapel admirably. The wall behind the altar table is covered with a rich crimson drapery, figured with the fleur-de-lis in gold colour, and hanging from a carved wooden rod, having inscribed upon it, in the black and red mediaeval character, “God is a spirit, and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” The pulpit stands against the pillar at the junction of the chancel with the east transept. It is of wood, hexagonal, and its sides filled with rich traceried panels. All the centre of the nave between the pillars is filled with seats; and there is also a row of seats in each of the side aisles. The transepts are also filled with seats entered from a passage running up the centre. All the seats and the spaces for singers= seats, are raised one step above the passages; the communion platform being raised a second step. The roofs are open to the interior, showing the timbers. All the walls, internal pillars (of clustered shafts) and arches (richly moulded) are of stone. The great south window, over the communion table, 30 feet high, is filled with stained glass by Mr W Warrington, of London. Each compartment (two tiers of five each, divided by a transom) is filled with a full-length figure. The upper row contains our Saviour in the centre and the four Evangelists; and under each a small compartment containing a representation of a scene from the New Testament, viz the Nativity, Teaching the doctors, the Baptism, Blessing Little Children, and the Sermon on the Mount. The lower tier compartments contain figures of Saints Peter, Paul, James and Andrew, with St John the Baptist in the centre. In the compartments beneath are the betrayal, bearing the cross, the crucifixion, the resurrection and the ascension. The glass, the pervading hues of which are deep crimson and purple, is exceedingly rich and brilliant. The seat accommodation is thus distributed: On the floor - centre nave 158 sittings; east and west sides (78 each) 156; east and west transepts, 108 and 45 others; total floor 467. In the north gallery133; transept galleries for scholars (50 each) 100; total sittings in the chapel, 700. Beneath the chapel is a spacious schoolroom, occupying the whole area, except a small classroom partitioned off on each side. There are four classrooms, library, washing rooms, water closets and hat and cloak rooms for each sex. A piece of ground has been taken a t the back of the chapel for a play-yard. There is a good day school attached to the chapel, having about 100 scholars of each sex. The edifice is surrounded by a wide area, securing to the basement both light and ventilation. It is to be regretted both on sanitary and architectural grounds, that the necessity should exist, as in this case, for putting the school (which is both a day and Sunday school) into a cellar. The contract was taken by Messrs Farrell and Griffiths of Broughton, to complete the whole (with the use of the materials from the old chapel) for something less than £4,000. The extras, such as warming, lighting, the stained glass window and the re-arrangement of the organ etc, will cost about ,1,000 more. The chapel is warmed by hot water pipes, fixed by Mr W Walker of Manchester. It is lighted by gas, the contract taken by Mr R Ridgway of Brook Street, Manchester. Three large sconces of appropriate design, with eight lights each, descend from the roof of the nave and chancel; and there are numerous branch jets from the walls.

The original chapel, on the site of which the present one stands, was erected in 1719. The Rev Thomas Braddock was the first minister, who was succeeded in the pastoral office by the Rev John Hughes, in 1771. In 1803 the Rev William Allard succeeded Mr Hughes; and in 1831, the Rev Franklin Howarth, the present minister, entered upon his duties here. In 1836 the old chapel was taken down, and in September 1837, a larger and more commodious one was opened. In 1851, this was also taken down, and the present elegant structure has been erected in its place. [Manchester Guardian 30 October 1852 page 9]

Reference           Manchester Guardian 30 October 1852 page 9 - opening