St Mary's Church, Warrington

St Mary's Church, Warrington is in the town centre of Warrington, Cheshire, England. It has been designated by English Heritage as a Grade II listed building, and is an active Roman Catholic church. The parish was established from St Alban's Church, Warrington by Benedictine monks from Ampleforth Abbey who still serve as Parish Priests. The church is sometimes referred to as 'St.Mary's Priory'.


The church was designed by E. W. Pugin and its construction started in 1875, just before Pugin's death. It was completed by Peter Paul Pugin in 1877, and the tower was added by Peter Paul in 1907. A northeast chapel, the First World War Memorial Chapel, was added in 1923. The architectural historian Nikolaus Pevsner considered it to be one of their best churches.


It is built in pale Pierpoint stone and red Runcorn sandstone. The church is in Decorated style. Its plan consists of a southwest tower, a six-bay nave with a clerestory, north and south aisles, a short chancel, and short transepts. The tower is slender and the parapet spells out "AVE MARIA". There is a west porch. To the north of the chancel is the Sacred Heart Chapel and to the south is the English Martyrs (formerly Lady) Chapel. The interior is "airy and spacious". The confessionals are integrated into the north wall. The arcade spandrels contain carvings of angels supporting busts of English saints.

The fittings were all designed by Peter Paul Pugin and the carving was executed by Boulton. The High Altar and the chapel altars are in Portland and Bath stone. The pulpit and communion rail are in marble, and the choir stalls in oak. The pews are benches with cast iron frames. The Stations of the Cross are recessed, and are in Caen stone. The sculptures are of St Benedict and St Scholastica against the chancel arch, of Our Lady of Lourdes by Philip Lindsay Clark in the north aisle, and of the Holy Family by Josefina de Vasconcellos in the south transept. In the chancel are Minton tiles with a lily design by C. W. Pugin. Above the reredos is a rose window. The church contains two organs. The main organ in the west gallery has two manuals and was built by Rushworth and Dreaper in 1927. It was rebuilt in 1963 by Henry Willis, reducing it from three to two manuals. The smaller single-manual organ was built in 1995 by A. Hypher, and rebuilt in 2009 by Peter Hindmarsh.

Building Activity

  • John Nagy
    John Nagy commented
    when will the high altar be restored?
    about 2 years ago via
  • Georgi Sokolov
    Georgi Sokolov activity.buildings_person.create_many
    about 6 years ago via