St Mary's Church, Handbridge

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St Mary's Church, Handbridge
St Mary's Handbridge.jpg
St Mary's Church, Handbridge
St Mary's Church, Handbridge is located in Cheshire
St Mary's Church, Handbridge
St Mary's Church, Handbridge
Location in Cheshire
Coordinates: 53°10′58″N 2°53′20″W / 53.1829°N 2.8889°W / 53.1829; -2.8889
OS grid reference SJ 406 655
Location Handbridge, Chester, Cheshire
Country England
Denomination Anglican
Website St Mary, Handbridge
Status Parish church
Functional status Active
Heritage designation Grade II*
Designated 10 January 1972
Architect(s) F. B. Wade,
P. H. Lockwood
Architectural type Church
Style Gothic Revival
Completed 1914
Spire height 168 feet (51.2 m)
Materials Red sandstone, slate roofs
Parish St Mary without the Walls, Chester
Deanery Chester
Archdeaconry Chester
Diocese Chester
Province York
Rector Revd Paul Dawson
Assistant priest(s) Revd John Carhart,
Revd Michael Tompkins,
Revd Bill Hamilton
Curate(s) Revd Maureen Pickering
Reader(s) Linda Manning
Churchwarden(s) Helen Brophy,
Alison McLellan
Parish administrator Doris Keen

St Mary's Church is in Overleigh Road in Handbridge, an area south of the River Dee, in the city of Chester, Cheshire, England. It is also known as the Church of St Mary-without-the-Walls. The church is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade II* listed building.[1] It is an active Anglican parish church in the diocese of Chester, the archdeaconry of Chester and the deanery of Chester.[2]


The church was built between 1885 and 1887 to a design by F. B. Wade for the 1st Duke of Westminster.[3] A porch was added on the south face of the tower in 1914 which was designed by P. H. Lockwood.[1]



St Mary's is constructed in ashlar Waverton stone with dressings of Runcorn sandstone.[3] It has Westmorland green slate roofs. The plan consists of a five-bay nave with a clerestory, a three-bay chancel, a chapel at the southeast, an organ chamber and a vestry. There are two porches, on one the south and one on the north. At the west end is a three-stage tower with a recessed spire. It has clock faces to the north, west and south, paired louvred bell-openings on each face, a machicolated parapet, two pinnacles at each corner, lucarnes to each cardinal face of the spire and a weathervane.[1]


The baptistry is in the tower and has an encaustic tiled floor and a stone font with an oak cover. The stained glass in the baptistry is dated 1887 and is by Edward Frampton. It depicts Christ's baptism. In the baptistry is a portrait memorial dated 1900 to the first Duke of Westminster. The nave is floored with wood blocks. There are three steps up to the chancel with wrought iron rails. The chancel has a mosaic floor. The southeast chapel has a wrought iron screen. The pulpit and lectern are in oak. To the north of the chancel is a sedilia. The east window is probably also by Frampton.[1] The reredos was designed by Frederic Shields and made in cloisonné by Clement Heaton.[3] There is a ring of eight bells which were cast by Mears and Stainbank at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry in 1887.[4]

External features[edit]

The walls, gates and railings of the churchyard were also designed by F. B. Wade for the first Duke of Westminster in 1887, and are listed Grade II.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Historic England, "Church of St Mary, Handbridge (1375848)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 28 July 2012 
  2. ^ St Mary without the Walls, Chester, Church of England, retrieved 2 January 2011 
  3. ^ a b c Hartwell, Clare; Hyde, Matthew; Hubbard, Edward; Pevsner, Nikolaus (2011) [1971], Cheshire, The Buildings of England, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, p. 282, ISBN 978-0-300-17043-6 
  4. ^ Handbridge S Mary, Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers, retrieved 14 August 2008 
  5. ^ Historic England, "Wall, railings and gates to St Mary's churchyard and rectory, Chester (1375849)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 28 July 2012 

External links[edit]

Media related to St Mary's Handbridge at Wikimedia Commons