St. Mary's Church, Village of Eccleston, Nr. Chester UK


Chester, United Kingdom

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Artist's Description


There was a medieval church on the site which was entirely rebuilt in 1809 by William Porden for Earl Grosvenor. A chancel was added in 1853. This was replaced by the present church in 1899, designed by G. F. Bodley for the 1st Duke of Westminster at a cost of £40,000 (£3.23 million today).

The church is built in red ashlar sandstone. Its plan consists of a west tower, a continuous six-bay nave and chancel with a clerestory, north and south aisles, and north and south porches. A long vestry block projects to the north. The tower has long bell-openings, irregular buttresses and an embattled top. Canopied niches contain statues. The church is considered to be an example of Bodley’s mature style anticipating features of Liverpool Cathedral.

Fittings and furniture
Pevsner is impressed by the furnishings of the church, in particular the reredoses by Farmer and Brindley, the chancel screens, the organ case and the bench ends. The stained glass is by Burlison and Grylls. In the church is a monument to the memory of the 1st Duke of Westminster dated 1901 which consists of a tomb-chest and canopy designed by Bodley with an effigy by Farmer and Brindley sculpted by Leon Joseph Chavalliaud. The organ was built in 1899 by Gray & Davison. It was modified around 1910 by Henry Poyser and further modified in 1984. The ring consists of eight bells which were cast by John Taylor & Co in 1899.[

External features
The churchyard has an avenue of limes. The gates date from the early 18th century. They were made by the Davies Bros., and were originally at Emral Hall, Flintshire. In the northeast part of the churchyard is a fragment of Porden’s former church on the site which was retained as a picturesque feature.

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Artwork Comments

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