Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church, Hindsford

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Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church, Hindsford
Sacred Heart Hindsford 2011.JPG
Sacred Heart Church
Basic information
Location Hindsford, Atherton, Greater Manchester, England
Affiliation Roman Catholic
Year consecrated 1869
Ecclesiastical or organizational status redundant
Architectural description
Architect(s) Edmund Kirby
Architectural type Church
Architectural style Gothic Revival
Materials sandstone

Sacred Heart Church is a Grade II listed redundant Roman Catholic church on Tyldesley Road, Hindsford, Atherton in Greater Manchester, England. It has been designated by English Heritage as a Grade II listed building.[1]


The Roman Catholic parish was established in the 19th century to serve Irish immigrant families who moved to the area to work in the cotton mills and coal mines. The church was built on a site donated by Lord Lilford. John Holland of the Tyldesley Coal Company provided materials to build the church which was consecrated by the Bishop of Liverpool, Alexander Goss in 1869.[2] A separate presbytery, built around the same time, was linked to the church in matching materials by 1894. Sacred Heart School opened in 1888. It was demolished by 2000. The church closed for worship in 2004.[1]

Sacred Heart's parish together with St Richard's in Atherton which opened in 1928, Holy Family in Boothstown, St Ambrose Barlow in Astley, St Gabriel's, Higher Folds in Leigh are united as a single community with St Margaret Clitherow as its patron.[3][4]


The church was built to the design of architect Edmund Kirby of Birkenhead and was extended soon after completion and altered in the 20th century. It is built in the Early English style in squared rubble sandstone with red ashlar sandstone dressings, decorative banding, coped gables with cross finials and its roof is laid in bands of blue and grey fish-scale slates.[1] Nikolaus Pevsner describes it as a "pretty church".[5]


The east elevation has a tall wide gable with a large round window of circular lights around a central quatrefoil. At the north-east corner is a multi-stage square tower with stepped chamfered corners supporting an octagonal spire with lucarnes. In the centre of the elevation is a gabled porch with a cinquefoil window above a pointed arch with twin pointed arch doorways. To its left is the baptistery. The south elevation has five bays with paired lancet windows separated by gabled buttresses and a single-storey extension for the confessional in its centre bay. The sanctuary is canted with tall three-light windows with cinquefoil heads separated by buttresses.[1]


The nave, aisles and chancel are under a single arched roof with exposed rafters supported by arch-braced king post roof trusses and the collar beams are supported on corbels. The main entrance is in the narthex at the east end which also provides access to the gallery which houses the organ. The altar survives and there is a carved wooden pulpit. The central aisle has contemporary pews on either side. The sanctuary windows from 1881 are by Mayer.[1]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b c d e English Heritage. "Sacred Heart Catholic Church (1271510)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 3 January 2013 .
  2. ^ Lunn 1971, p. 200
  3. ^ The Catholic Church in the Leigh Area, Leigh Pastoral Area, retrieved 28 April 2013 
  4. ^ History,, retrieved 28 April 2013 
  5. ^ Pollard, Pevsner & Sharples 1995, p. 596


  • Lunn, John (1971), Atherton Lancashire, A manorial social and industrial history, Atherton UDC 
  • Pollard, Richard; Pevsner, Nikolaus; Sharples, Joseph (2006), The Buildings of England: Liverpool and the southwest, New Haven: Yale University Press, ISBN 0-300-10910-5 

Coordinates: 53°30′58″N 2°28′41″W / 53.516°N 2.478°W / 53.516; -2.478