St Clement's Church, Chorlton-cum-Hardy

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St Clement's Church, Chorlton-cum-Hardy

St Clement's Church is an active Anglican parish church in Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Greater Manchester, England.[1] Its daughter church, St Barnabas (opened 1951), serves the Barlow Moor estate and south Chorlton.[2] The church is in the Hulme deanery in the diocese of Manchester.[3]


The first church was south of the present Chorlton Green[4] and its churchyard is still in existence next to the Bowling Green Hotel though interments ceased in 1882 (except for spaces in existing graves). The churchyard was in use for about 160 years (the extant burial registers begin in 1753 and end in 1916) and by the 1980s when the site of the church was excavated and the churchyard landscaped contained 380 gravestones, some of which were used to form a path and a few others were left in place.[5][6][7] This chapel, dedicated to St Clement, was established early in the 16th century, probably in 1512, and replaced by a brick-built chapel in 1779. For about 35 years this would have been Roman Catholic, until the separation from Rome under King Henry VIII.[8] Among the clergy who ministered here were Joshua Brookes, curate from 1782 to 1791, and Peter Hordern (died 1836) who was librarian of Chetham's Library, Manchester. John Edmund Booth was rector from 1859 until his death in 1892; during his time the new church was opened and the school building was replaced by a larger one.[9]

By 1860 there was a need for a larger church building and the new St Clement's Church was built at Edge Lane (opened 1866). Sir William Cunliffe Brooks was a benefactor to the township but withdrew support for building a new church: two of his daughters who died in infancy are buried at the old church.[10] Another wealthy and influential parishioner who opposed the move was the merchant, Samuel Mendel of Manley Hall, Whalley Range. The old church remained for another 90 years and was then demolished though the ground plan is still apparent (it was excavated in 1980-81). At Hurstville Road, Hardy Lane, is St Barnabas Church, a chapel dependent upon St Clement's, opened in 1951. St Clement's celebrated its 500th anniversary during 2012. David Bonser, the Anglican Bishop of Bolton from 1991 until 1999, was rector of St Clement's from 1968 to 1972.


The architects were Pennington & Bridgen who used the Decorated Gothic style; building work began in 1860 and the roof was added in 1866 but the church was not consecrated until 1896. Three additions were made by the architect W. Higginbottom in 1883 (north transept), 1895 (Lady chapel) and 1896 (south transept). Features of interest are the octagonal southwest turret and the stained glass of the east window. [11]



  1. ^ History of St Clement's Church, St Clement's Chorlton, retrieved 14 September 2013 
  2. ^ St Barnabas, St Clement's Chorlton, retrieved 14 September 2013 
  3. ^ Hulme Deanery,, retrieved 14 September 2013 
  4. ^ Until the late 19th century there was no green; this land was mainly agricultural.
  5. ^ Simpson, Andrew (2012) The Story of Chorlton-cum-Hardy. Stroud: History Press ISBN 978-0-7524-8966-7; pp. 273-77
  6. ^ Manchester City Libraries. "Church Register List; Chelford to Chorlton-cum-Hardy". Manchester City Council. Retrieved 10 March 2013. 
  7. ^ Some of the interments were within the church; existing gravestones commemorate two of the clergy who ministered in Chorlton, John Morton and John Edmund Booth.
  8. ^ Chorlton Chapel was one of very few chapels-of-ease in the very large parish of Manchester when it was established.
  9. ^ Lloyd (1972), pp. 68, 113.
  10. ^ LLoyd 1972, p. 104
  11. ^ Hartwell, Clare; Hyde, Matthew; Pevsner, Nikolaus (2004). The Buildings of England - Lancashire: Manchester and the South East. Yale University Press. pp. 411–12. ISBN 978-0-300-10583-4. 


  • Lloyd, John M. (1972). The Township of Chorlton-cum-Hardy. Manchester: E. J. Morten. ISBN 0-901598-26-7.