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Prescot Parish Church
Church of St Mary, Prescot
St Mary's Church, Prescot.jpg
Prescot Parish Church from the east
Coordinates: 53°25′43″N 2°48′23″W / 53.4285°N 2.8063°W / 53.4285; -2.8063
OS grid reference SJ 465 927
Location Prescot, Merseyside
Country England
Denomination Anglican
Website Prescot Parish Church
History
Status Parish church
Architecture
Functional status Active
Heritage designation Grade I
Designated 19 March 1951
Architect(s) Henry Sephton (steeple)
Architectural type Church
Style Gothic
Specifications
Materials Sandstone
Administration
Parish Prescot
Deanery Huyton
Archdeaconry Liverpool
Diocese Liverpool
Province York
Clergy
Vicar(s) Revd Canon John Andrew Taylor
Assistant priest(s) Revd David Rose
Curate(s) Revd Peter Smyth
Assistant Revd Peter Cowley

Prescot Parish Church, also known as St Mary's Church, is in the town of Prescot, Merseyside, England. It is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade I listed building, and is an active Anglican parish church.

History

The circular shape of the churchyard suggests that a church was on the site before the Norman Conquest, and parts of the existing fabric in the chancel and north vestry date possibly from the 15th century. The church was largely rebuilt in 1610. The tower was built in 1729 and the spire added in 1797. The tower and spire were designed by Henry Sephton, the spire being rebuilt after a lightning strike. An organ was gifted by Elizabeth, the widow of William Atherton Esq. The aisles were widened between 1817 and 1819, a restoration took place in 1876, and the south vestry was added in 1900. In 1953 the aisles were rebuilt.

Architecture

The church is built in red sandstone. Its plan consists of a west tower, a nave with a clerestory, north and south aisles and a chancel with north and south vestries. The tower has a west entrance with a three-light window above and an inscribed frieze. The bell stage has Doric flat pilasters and an entablature, 2-light louvred bell openings, and clock faces. The parapet has a balustrade and three finials to each angle, and the spire has three tiers of lucarnes. The aisles have cornices and embattled parapets.

Internally are five-bayed arcades. Stone plaques on the walls carry the arms and sometimes the initials of the 1610 benefactors. The stalls, with poppyhead carving, are dated 1636. The reredos is of panelled timber, dated 1891 and designed by Kempe. There are two fonts, one Norman and simple on a modern base, the other, which was donated in 1755, was previously an Italian marble stoup. The chancel screen is dated 1921. The stained glass includes some in the south aisle by Morris & Co. There are a number of monuments, including one on the south side dated 1803 by Sir Richard Westmacott, to the memory of William Atherton of Prescot, surmounted with a family crest, with the motto “clarior e tenebis” (brighter after the darkness), and a brass dated 1836 which was designed by A. W. N. Pugin.

External features

The churchyard contains the war graves of 24 service personnel, 22 of World War I and two of World War II.

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