St Oswald's Church, Bidston

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St Oswald's Church, Bidston
St Oswald's Church, Bidston, from the south
St Oswald's Church, Bidston is located in Merseyside
St Oswald's Church, Bidston
St Oswald's Church, Bidston
Location in Merseyside
Coordinates: 53°24′15″N 3°04′45″W / 53.4042°N 3.0793°W / 53.4042; -3.0793
OS grid reference SJ 283 903
Location Bidston, Birkenhead,
Wirral, Merseyside
Country England
Denomination Anglican
Website St Oswald's, Bidston
Status Parish church
Functional status Active
Heritage designation Grade II
Designated 29 July 1950
Architect(s) W. & J. Hay, G. E. Grayson
Architectural type Church
Style Gothic, Gothic Revival
Completed 1882
Materials Coursed and squared rubble
Westmorland slate roof with ridge cresting
Parish Bidston
Deanery Birkenhead
Archdeaconry Chester
Diocese Chester
Province York
Vicar(s) Rev Ron Iveson
Reader(s) Arthur Sinnott, Rob Morsley, Jayne Morsley
Churchwarden(s) Claire Gartland, Tony Endean

St Oswald's Church is in Bidston, an area of Birkenhead, Wirral, Merseyside, England. It 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 Birkenhead.[2]


The original church dates back to the 13th century.[3] The tower was built in 1520.[4] The rest of the church was rebuilt in 1855–56 by W. and J. Hay in Gothic Revival style. An extension was made to the chancel in 1882 by G. E. Grayson.[5]



The church is built from coursed and squared rubble in large blocks with a roof of Westmorland slate with ridge cresting. Its plan consists of a west tower, a nave, north and south aisles with gable roofs, a south porch, and a chancel.[1] Heraldic shields over the west door date it between 1504 and 1521.[5] The tower is in three stages with angle buttresses and an embattled parapet.[1]


In the chancel is a sedilia dated 1882. The reredos is a mosaic depicting The Last Supper by Salviati over which is a wooden canopy frieze.[1] The stained glass includes windows by Morris & Co., Robert Anning Bell, H. Gustave Hiller, H. Hughes, Powell and Frank O. Salisbury.[5] The two-manual organ dating from 1929 is by Henry Willis & Sons.[6] There is a ring of six bells by Robert Stainbank of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, five of which are dated 1868 and the other 1882.[7] The parish registers begin in 1679 and the churchwardens' accounts in 1767.[4]

External features[edit]

The churchyard contains four war graves, each of which represents a different service; a British Army Colonel of World War I, and a Royal Air Force officer, a Royal Navy and a Merchant Navy sailor of World War II.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Historic England, "Church of St Oswald, Birkenhead (1201549)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 18 July 2012 
  2. ^ St Oswald, Bidston, Church of England, retrieved 11 May 2011 
  3. ^ Salter, Mark (1995), The Old Parish Churches of Cheshire, Malvern: Folly Publications, p. 24, ISBN 1-871731-23-2 
  4. ^ a b Richards, Raymond (1947), Old Cheshire Churches, London: Batsford, pp. 51–54 
  5. ^ a b c Hartwell, Claire; Hyde, Matthew; Hubbard, Edward; Pevsner, Nikolaus (2011) [1971], Cheshire, The Buildings of England, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, pp. 151–152, ISBN 978-0-300-17043-6 
  6. ^ Bidston St. Oswald, British Institute of Organ Studies, retrieved 9 August 2008 
  7. ^ Bidston S Oswald, Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers, retrieved 9 August 2008 
  8. ^ BIDSTON (ST. OSWALD) CHURCHYARD, Commonwealth War Graves Commission, retrieved 4 February 2013 

Further reading[edit]