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St Mary, Walton on the Hill, Lancashire

(53°26′45″N, 2°57′59″W)
Walton on the Hill
SJ 359 948
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Lancashire
now Merseyside
medieval St Mary
now St Mary
  • James Cameron
31 Mar 2018

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Feature Sets

The site is medieval but there are no architectural remains of the old church. The nave was rebuilt in 1743, the chancel in 1810, and the impressive W tower by John Broadbent in 1829-32. Broadbent's tower is essentially the oldest part of the building to remain intact, the N side of the church being remodelled 1840, and the chancel rebuilt again in 1843. A S chapel, ambulatory and vestry was added in 1911. The church was gutted by incendiary bombs and the interior now consists of concrete vaults on a steel frame rising from the floor. The church retains an Anglo-Saxon cross shaft, and a Romanesque font.


This is the original mother church of what is now Liverpool: St Nicholas in the city centre being a chapelry of it until 1699. Walton was assessed at 2.4 geld units in the Domesday Book, and in 1291 the Taxatio valued the benefice at £44. From 1093 to 1470 the advowson was held by Shrewsbury Abbey, although the church was never appropriated.





The two worst-preserved panels would be expected to be chronologically between the Annununication and the Flight of Egypt. We would expect at least one to show the Nativity. Since the cowled figure of scene 6 faces away from its companion panel, it is perhaps possible it is the Massacre of the Innocents, and scene 5 was The Nativity.

In 1901, Ellis only identified three scenes and the foliage, he did not see either the Annuciation or the serpent L of Adam and Eve. It may be that these were made more visible by the post-war repairs.


R. Pollard and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Lancashire: Liverpool and the South-West, New Haven and London 2006, 487-88.

J.W. Ellis, "The medieval fonts of the hundreds of West Derby and Wirral", Transactions of The Historic Society of Lancashire & Cheshire 53 (1901), 60-61.