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St Mary the Virgin, Eccleston, Lancashire

(53°39′15″N, 2°44′1″W)
SD 516 178
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Lancashire
now Lancashire
  • James Cameron
29 May 2018

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Feature Sets

The church is entirely of red sandstone, with a south aisle and two-bay chancel with a full-length south chapel. The lower parts of the tower are 14thc. The rest of the church is probably late Perpendicular. The roof was replaced in the 1960s but there is the mark of a earlier medieval roof suggesting a single-vessel church in the 14thc. Some lapidary fragments are kept behind a wooden screen to the N of the pulpit. One of them is almost certainly the base of a Romanesque font.


Eccleston is not mentioned in the Domesday Book (the nearest settlement recorded is Leyland), but does appear as a fully-fledged parish in the 1291 Taxatio, valued at £12.


Loose Sculpture


The fragments are not included in the recent Pevsner revision. A cable-moulding can be seen at the font at Kirkby. There are few medieval churches in the area (only five medieval parishes in the deanery of Leyland), so this church is a likely origin for the piece. As Eccleston now has a late medieval font, this font may have been retired from use in the Middle Ages (as at Huyton). However all of the other Romanesque fonts in South Lancashire are of the tub-type (Kirkby has a stem inserted under its tub but it has been argued that the tub originally rested directly on the large base)


J. W. Ellis, "The medieval fonts of the hundreds of West Derby and Wirral", Transactions of The Historic Society of Lancashire & Cheshire 53 (1901) 70-71.

C. Hartwell and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Lancashire: North, New Haven and London 2009, 280.