Category Archives: Oldest Churches,

St Leonard’s Church, Middleton

Although there were earlier Saxon and Norman churches on the site, the basis of the building we see today is medieval, though most of the later fabric is Tudor. It was built in 1412 by Middleton-born Cardinal Thomas Langley, Prince Bishop … Continue reading

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St Leonard the Less Church, Samlesbury near Preston

    The shape of the first small medieval building can be seen in the outside walls of the church today, as the lowest outline of brickwork (see photograph on the left). The red and yellow sandstone clearly show the earlier and later … Continue reading

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St Michaels on Wyre Church

St Michael’s Church is old enough to be mentioned in the Domesday Book as ‘Michelescherce’. Bounded by the River Wyre, it has been called St Michaels-on-Wyre since the 1100s. The earliest parts of the present building are Norman, as can be evidenced by the … Continue reading

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St Helens Church, Churchtown near Garstang

The oval shaped graveyard of St Helens  is a key indicator that a  very early ‘Dark Ages’ Saxon church stood once in this place. The name  ‘Churchtown’ was at one time called Kirkland, with ‘kirk’ being the Viking word for a church.  The earliest parts of the present building … Continue reading

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Lydiate Abbey, the Church of St Catherine, Lydiate

The ruined church of St Catherine is known locally as Lydiate Abbey. It was never a real abbey, but was the private chapel built by the Ireland family of Lydiate Hall  (see here )sometime around 1470s. It was built for husband and wife Laurence and Katherine Ireland. Made from sandstone, … Continue reading

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Brindle Churchyard, Brindle village, near Chorley

Brindle church’s oldest features can all be seen in the churchyard at any time of day. These include four cross bases, two of which are definitely medieval, three  decorated grave slabs and a stone coffin. There has been a church … Continue reading

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Ribchester’s Medieval Parish Church, Ribchester, Ribble Valley

St Wilfrid’s Parish church in Ribchester dates back to at least the eleventh century, but there may well have been earlier churches on the site beforehand. A blocked Norman doorway in the north wall is probably part of an earlier structure, and two small … Continue reading

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The Knights Hospitallers, Stydd Church near Ribchester

While many people have heard of the Knights Templar, most may not know of another similiar order – the Knights Hospitallers. This fighting religious order was also associated with running hospitals for pilgrims in the ‘Holy Land’ during the middle ages. In Lancashire, they came to … Continue reading

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Manchester’s Medieval Collegiate Church

The Medieval Collegiate Church of Manchester became Manchester Cathedral in Victorian times, and much of what we can see on the outside belongs to that period. However, the medieval parts are very much evident inside the building and can be … Continue reading

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Bolton Parish Church Viking Age Crosses and Sculpture

Inside Bolton Parish Church (St Peter’s), just behind the front desk is a large Viking Age cross. It’s wonderful that this monument is so prominently displayed, but a big desk does obscure a large part of the front of this tall free standing cross. A good view of … Continue reading

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