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St Peter and St Paul, Ormskirk, Lancashire

(53°34′8″N, 2°53′16″W)
SD 413 084
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Lancashire
now Lancashire
  • James Cameron
28 Apr 2018

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Feature Sets

On approaching Ormskirk it would appear the town centre has two churches. This is not the case, instead the medieval parish church of the town has the unique attribute of having a separate tower and spire. The spire is based upon a smaller tower built into the S aisle, probably 14thc. The enormously wide W tower was built after 1542. The church was heavily classified in the 18thc and the current arcades of the interior are 19thc, replacing classical columns. The arcade of the chancel is partly 13thc, and the N wall of the chancel contains a Romanesque window.


Ormskirk does not appear in the Domesday Book. A church is first mentioned in 1189/90 when Robert Lord of Lathom confers the church of Ormskirk to Burscough Priory. The canons appropriated the church and a vicarage was founded in 1285. In 1291 the rectory was valued at £13, 6s, 8d.


Exterior Features



The Buildings of England states that the surround of the window is not genuine, although the arch looks like it could be the original carving. Although one would not normally place much faith in the waterleaf capitals being genuine, the similarity of them and the plain single roll of the window arch to fragments at nearby Sefton church is striking. A date shortly before the documented date of 1189/90 then is plausible.


R. Pollard and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Lancashire: Liverpool and the South East, New Haven and London 2006, 531-4.

W. Farrer and J. Brownbill ed., A History of the County of Lancaster: Vol. 3, Victoria County History, London 1907, 238-46.