St James' Church, Poolstock

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St James' Church, Poolstock
St James' Church, Poolstock, from the southeast
St James' Church, Poolstock is located in Greater Manchester
St James' Church, Poolstock
St James' Church, Poolstock
Location in Greater Manchester
Coordinates: 53°32′09″N 2°38′16″W / 53.5358°N 2.6379°W / 53.5358; -2.6379
OS grid reference SD 578,045
Location Poolstock, Wigan,
Greater Manchester
Country England
Denomination Anglican
Website St James with St Thomas, Wigan
Founder(s) James C. Eckersley
Consecrated 15 September 1866
Status Parish church
Functional status Active
Heritage designation Grade II*
Designated 11 July 1983
Architect(s) E. G. Paley
Architectural type Church
Style Gothic Revival
Groundbreaking 1863
Completed 1866
Materials Sandstone, slate roofs
Parish St James with St Thomas, Wigan
Deanery Wigan
Archdeaconry Warrington
Diocese Liverpool
Province York
Reader(s) Pam Bancroft, David Brown
Organist(s) David Goulden
Churchwarden(s) June McCoy, Pat Dean

St James' Church, Poolstock, is in the Poolstock district of Wigan, Greater Manchester, England. It is an active Anglican parish church in the deanery of Wigan, the archdeaconry of Warrington, and the diocese of Liverpool.[1] The church is designated by English Heritage as a Grade II* listed building.[2]


The foundation stone was laid on 1 September 1863. The church took three years to build and was consecrated on 15 September 1866.[3] It was the centrepiece of a workers' industrial village, and was paid for by James C. Eckersley, a local colliery proprietor, MP for Wigan, and member of a mill-owning family. The estimate for the cost of its building was over £15,000 (£1,210,000 as of 2014).[4] It was designed by the Lancaster architect E. G. Paley.[5] In 1970 the neighbouring Church of St Thomas closed, and the two parishes merged.[3]



The church is constructed in sandstone from Parbold.[5] The roofs are slated.[2] Its architectural style is Decorated.[2][5] The plan consists of a five-bay nave with a clerestory, north and south aisles, a south porch, a two-bay chancel with a chapel to the south and a vestry to the north, and a west tower. The tower is large, in five stages, with angle buttresses rising to the fourth stage. In the bottom stage is a west arched doorway containing double doors, over which is a four-light window. In the third stage is a crocketted niche containing the date 1866 on the west side and two-light windows on the north and south sides. The fourth stage has clock faces, and the top stage contains pairs of two-light gabled and louvred bell openings on each side. At the summit is a frieze decorated with ball flowers under a pierced parapet with crocketted pinnacles. The parapets of the naves and aisles are battlemented, with pierced triangular upstands between the bays. At the east end of the nave are crocketted pinnacles. The two-light clerestory windows are in pairs, and along the aisles are three-light windows. The chancel is at a lower level and has a parapet of pierced trefoils. On its south side, the first bay contains a chapel with a rose window on the south side, and two-light windows on the sides. In the second bays is a three-light window. The east window is large, and has five lights.[2]


The arcades are carried on alternate octagonal and quatrefoil columns. The paired clerestory windows have detached marble shafts. The stone reredos is ornate. Below the east window is an arcade, and on each side of the window are two tiers of niches containing statues. The south chapel contains furnishings moved from St Thomas' Church. The north and south chancel windows contain stained glass by Hardman.[5] The two-manual organ was made in 1865–66 by Hill and Son at a cost of £375 (£30,000 as of 2014).[4] It is thought that the organ case was designed by Paley.[6] There is a ring of eight bells, all cast in 1896 by Mears and Stainbank of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ St James, Wigan, Church of England, retrieved 5 June 2011 
  2. ^ a b c d English Heritage, "Church of St James with St Thomas, Wigan (1384468)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 7 June 2012 
  3. ^ a b Church History, St. James with St. Thomas Parish Church, Wigan, retrieved 5 June 2011 
  4. ^ a b UK CPI inflation numbers based on data available from Gregory Clark (2014), "What Were the British Earnings and Prices Then? (New Series)" MeasuringWorth.
  5. ^ a b c d Pollard, Richard; Pevsner, Nikolaus (2006), Lancashire: Liverpool and the South-West, The Buildings of England, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, p. 663, ISBN 0-300-10910-5 
  6. ^ Lancashire (Manchester, Greater), Wigan, St. James with St. Thomas, Poolstock (D06636), British Institute of Organ Studies, retrieved 5 June 2011 
  7. ^ Wigan, Poolstock, S James, Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers, retrieved 5 June 2011