All Saints' Church, Wigan

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All Saints' Church, Wigan
Wigan Parish Church

All Saints' Church, Wigan, from the west
All Saints' Church, Wigan is located in Greater Manchester
All Saints' Church, Wigan
All Saints' Church, Wigan
Location in Greater Manchester
Coordinates: 53°32′46″N 2°37′58″W / 53.5460°N 2.6328°W / 53.5460; -2.6328
OS grid reference SD 582,057
Location Wallgate, Wigan, Greater Manchester
Country England
Denomination Anglican
Website Wigan Parish Church
Status Parish church
Functional status Active
Heritage designation Grade II*
Designated 24 October 1951
Architect(s) Sharpe and Paley (rebuilding)
E. G. Paley (addition to tower)
Architectural type Church
Style Perpendicular, Gothic Revival
Materials Sandstone, lead roofs
Parish All Saints, Wigan
Deanery Wigan
Archdeaconry Warrington
Diocese Liverpool
Province York
Rector Revd R. J. Hutchinson
Curate(s) Revd J. Haworth
Director of music Karl Greenall
Churchwarden(s) Mrs R. Cartlidge, Mr M. Reeves
Parish administrator Mrs A. Fairhurst

All Saints' Church in Wallgate, Wigan, Greater Manchester, England is the parish church of the town. It is an active Anglican church in the deanery of Wigan, the archdeaconry of Warrington, and the diocese of Liverpool.[1] Its benefice is united with that of St George, Wigan. The church is designated by English Heritage as a Grade II* listed building.[2] It stands on a hill in the centre of the town.[3]


The oldest fabric in the church is to be found in the lower parts of the tower which date from the later part of the 13th century. The belfry stage was probably added in the 16th century.[4] Between 1845 and 1850 the church was rebuilt, other than the tower, the north chapel, and two turrets between the chancel and the nave. The architects responsible were Sharpe and Paley of Lancaster. The total cost of this was £15,065 (£1,360,000 as of 2014).[5][6] In 1861 E. G. Paley, now working alone, added another stage to the tower including clock faces and pinnacles.[4] The church was restored and its exterior partly re-faced in 1922.[2] Further restorations and repairs have been carried out since then.[3]



The church is constructed in sandstone.[2] Its architectural style is Perpendicular, following the style of the church it replaced.[4][a] The plan consists of a six-bay nave, a two-bay chancel, both of which have a clerestory, a south aisle with a porch at its west end, a north aisle with a two-bay chapel at the west end and a tower at its junction with the chancel, and a vestry to the north of the chancel. Between the nave and the chancel are the octagonal turrets remaining from the medieval church; these have crocketed caps. Along the sides of the church are embattled parapets and crocketed pinnacles. At the west end of the church is a six-light window, and the east window has seven lights.[2]


Inside the church are six-bay arcades carried on quatrefoil piers. The roof is coffered. There are corporation stalls of 1850.[2] The reredos and pulpit were designed by Paley. The font has an octagonal bowl with a qutrefoil frieze and incorporates a fragment from the 14th or 15th century. The chancel screen of 1901 was designed by W. D. Caroe. Built into the splay of a north window is a Roman altar. The stained glass includes fragments in the north window dating from the 15th century, that were reassembled in 1956–57 under the direction of Eric Milner-White. Elsewhere are 19th-century windows by William Wailes, Heaton, Butler and Bayne, Hardman & Co., Lavers and Barraud, Clayton and Bell, and Burlison and Grylls. The monuments include a couple in the south chapel that are badly defaced. These are considered to be effigies of Sir William de Bradshaigh, who founded a chantry in the church in 1338, and his wife, Mabel. The female effigy was re-cut, and the male effigy was copied, by John Gibson in about 1850. There are also memorials to James Bankes, who died in 1689, and John Baldwin, who died in 1726. On the east wall of the chapel are marble monuments to the 23rd Earl of Crawford, who died in 1825, and his wife, and to the wife of the 24th Earl of Crawford who died in 1850.[4] There is a ring of ten bells, all cast in 1935 by John Taylor & Co of Loughborough.[8]


The earliest record of an organ in the parish church is 1620, when there was an organ on the screen between the Chancel and the Nave. A new instrument, built in 1623, was destroyed by the Parliamentarian soldiers in 1643. In 1714 another organ was built on the same site, with a passage of only twelve feet beneath it, thus obstructing the view of the Chancel. The organ remained here until 1844, after which a new organ was installed at the west end of the Leigh Chapel. This instrument was started by Richard Jackson of Liverpool, and was finished by William Hill and Son of London. It was completely re-built by Hill in 1867, and sited under the Tower. In 1877 the organ was moved to the eastern end of the Leigh Chapel. The main case, designed by Paley, dates from this time. In 1886 it was moved once again, to the western bay of the Leigh Chapel.

In 1901, when Sir Edward Bairstow was Organist, the organ was completely rebuilt by Norman & Beard of Norwich. Parts of the former organ were retained, but most of it was new. Further work to the instrument was done in 1906, and 1948. This instrument remained in use until the latest re-building.

The work of reconstruction in 1963 was entrusted to the firm of William Hill and Son and Norman and Beard Ltd., also known as Hill, Norman & Beard, who at the time had a connection of over 100 years with the parish church. Most of the 1901 instrument was retained, after careful restoration and re-voicing. The old pneumatic action was replaced with electro-pneumatic action, and a new detached console was placed in the Crawford Chapel with access to the Chancel by means of a door through the Screen.

Apart from complete re-voicing and one new rank on each division, the Great and Swell organs remained much as they were. Only the Pedal Organ was significantly enlarged. Here, there were added ranks of 4 ft and 2 ft pitch, also a three rank mixture and 4 ft solo reed, and the Trombone was extended to 8 ft and 4 ft pitch. It is interesting to note that prior to 1901 there was a 4 ft stop and a three rank mixture on the Pedal Organ, both of which were discarded in 1901.

The old Choir Organ was replaced by an unenclosed Positif Organ of authentic antique scale. This, together with the part of the instrument that was new in 1963 was placed in the eastern bay of the Leigh Chapel, with the Pedal Gemshorn on display.

The specification was drawn up by Mr A. G. D. Cutter, the Organist at the time, in consultation with Mr R Mark Fairhead, of Hill, Norman & Beard Ltd., who was responsible for the tonal finishing of the organ.

The Specification and pictures of the organ can be found on the choir website, which can be found by google-ing Wigan Parish Church Choir.

The organists, some of whom were notable, include:

External features[edit]

To the south of the church in a triangular garden is a war memorial of 1925 designed by Giles Gilbert Scott, which is listed at Grade II*. It is in Portland stone with bronze plaques recording the names of those who fell in both world wars.[10] In and around the churchyard are structures that have been listed at Grade II. These are the boundary wall of the churchyard and two archways,[11] the gate piers at the north entrance to the churchyard,[12] railings encircling the church,[13] and two sections of the churchyard wall.[14][15]


See also[edit]

References and notes[edit]


  1. ^ Brandwood et al. comment that the use of the Perpendicular style was very unusual at this time, and state that it was used "following the strong wishes of the parishioners to reproduce the style of the previous building".[7]


  1. ^ All Saints, Wigan, Church of England, retrieved 29 May 2012 
  2. ^ a b c d e English Heritage. "Church of All Saints, Wigan (1384556)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 29 May 2012 .
  3. ^ a b History and Restoration, Wigan Parish Church, retrieved 29 May 2012 
  4. ^ a b c d Pollard & Pevsner 2006, p. 660–661.
  5. ^ UK CPI inflation numbers based on data available from Gregory Clark (2013), "What Were the British Earnings and Prices Then? (New Series)" MeasuringWorth.
  6. ^ Brandwood et al. 2012, p. 213.
  7. ^ Brandwood et al. 2012, pp. 94–95.
  8. ^ Wigan, All Saints, Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers, retrieved 29 May 2012 
  9. ^ Dictionary of Organs and Organists. Fred. W. Thornsby. 1912
  10. ^ English Heritage. "War Memorial south of Church of All Saints with encircling railings, Wigan (1384562)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 29 May 2012 .
  11. ^ English Heritage. "Boundary wall and two archways to west and south sides of churchyard of Church of All Saints, Wigan (1384557)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 29 May 2012 .
  12. ^ English Heritage. "Gate piers at north entrance to churchyard of Church of All Saints, Wigan (1384558)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 29 May 2012 .
  13. ^ English Heritage. "Railings encircling Church of All Saints to south and west, Wigan (1384559)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 29 May 2012 .
  14. ^ English Heritage. "Section of churchyard wall to northeast of Church of All Saints, Wigan (1384560)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 29 May 2012 .
  15. ^ English Heritage. "Section of churchyard wall of Church of All Saints on south, Wigan (1384561)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 29 May 2012 .