St Mary's Church, Goosnargh
|St Mary the Virgin, Goosnargh|
St Mary's Church from the north
|OS grid reference||SD 55951 36922|
|Heritage designation||Grade II*|
|Height||60 feet (18 m)|
The Church of St Mary the Virgin is an Anglican church in Goosnargh, a village north of Preston in Lancashire, England. The church dates from the Middle Ages; it was enlarged in the 16th century and restored twice in the 19th century.
St Mary's Church dates from the Middle Ages; it was probably in existence by 1281, and certainly by 1330. It was probably first established as a chapel of ease to St Michael's Church in Kirkham. It was enlarged in the 16th century. The church was restored in 1868–1869 by Lancaster architecture firm Paley and Austin. They renovated the roof, repaired window stonework and lowered the floor. Seating in the nave and aisles was altered. Further restoration took place in 1895.
Present day and assessment
St Mary's was designated a Grade II* listed building by English Heritage on 11 November 1966. The Grade II* designation—the second highest of the three grades—is for "particularly important buildings of more than special interest". An active church in the Church of England, St Mary's is part of the diocese of Blackburn, which is in the Province of York. It is in the archdeaconry of Lancaster and the Deanery of Garstang.
St Mary's is constructed of sandstone rubble with gritstone dressings and has slate roofs. Its plan consists of a nave with aisles to the north and south, a west tower and a chancel to the east. There is a porch to the south-west of the south aisle, and a vestry north of the chancel. The tower is 60 feet (18 m) tall. It is of three stages and has a stair turret to the south-east. There are diagonal six-stage buttresses at the west corners and a square three-stage buttress at the north-east corner. The tower has a crenellated parapet. It has three-light belfry louvres that have Perpendicular style tracery and a rounded arched doorway.
Interior and fittings
The nave measures 70 feet 6 inches (21.49 m) by 20 feet 6 inches (6.25 m). It is separated from the aisles by arcades with pointed arches and octagonal piers. The Middleton Chapel is at the east end of the north aisle and has by wooden screens that date from the late 17th or 18th century. In the south aisle there is a stone baptismal font that is 1 foot 5 inches (0.43 m) tall and has a large square bowl. It possibly dates from the 15th century.
The gravestones in the churchyard include one dated 1668. There are war graves of four soldiers of World War I and one of World War II. To the south of the church there is a sandstone sundial. It dates from the 18th century and has two circular steps with a pedestal shaped like a vase. It has received a Grade II listed building designation by English Heritage. South of the chancel is the sandstone base of a preaching cross from the late Middle Ages. The cross base also has a Grade II designation.
- Farrer & Brownbill, pp. 190–206
- Hartwell & Pevsner, pp. 305–306
- "Church of St Mary", National Heritage List for England (English Heritage), retrieved 9 June 2011
- "Listed Buildings", National Heritage List for England (English Heritage), retrieved 9 June 2011
- "Church Details: Goosnargh St Mary the Virgin", blackburn.anglican.org (Diocese of Blackburn), retrieved 9 June 2011
-  CWGC Cemetery Report. Details obtained from casualty record.
- "Sundial Circa 10 Metres South of Church of St Mary", National Heritage List for England (English Heritage), retrieved 9 June 2011
- "Base of Preaching Cross Circa 7 Metres South of Chancel of Church of St Mary", National Heritage List for England (English Heritage), retrieved 9 June 2011
- Media related to St Mary the Virgin's Church, Goosnargh at Wikimedia Commons