The Parish Church of Saint Katharine Blackrod

A Short History by Margaret Green
Published June 1993
Saint Katharine Of Alexandria

The Church is dedicated to Saint Katharine of Alexandria whose feast day falls on 25th November. There are several variations of the spelling of her name, but the old original is the one we use, with a ‘K’ and two ‘A’s.

Katharine herself was born into a noble family in Alexandria in the 4th Century. Legend has it that she publicly protested to the Emperor, Maxentius, against the worship of idols. She was then confronted by fifty philosophers and demolished their arguments. They were burnt alive for their failure to answer her! She refused to deny her faith and to marry the Emperor, who then had her beaten for two hours and imprisoned. An attempt was made to break her on a spiked wheel (the Catherine-wheel), but it fell to pieces. She was unhurt, although some of the spectators were killed by flying splinters. Her constancy throughout all this brought about the conversion of 200 soldiers who were straightaway beheaded. Finally, Katharine was beheaded. The legend also tells of her body being carried by angels to the top of Mount Sinai, where the Orthodox monastery is now called St. Katharine’s, and her shrine is situated. Many churches dedicated in her honour are in fact built on a hill top!

There is little evidence to support any of these stories, and it may have been simply an imaginative romantic tale composed by a Greek writer. The cult began in the 9th Century at Mount Sinai. The wheel has become her special symbol, and a wheel with the initials. S. K. are carved on the front of the church porch. The story is depicted in the stained glass window near the pulpit – a memorial to Dr. H. A. Harrison

 Early History Of The Church

The Parish Church of St. Katharine stands in a prominent position in the village of Blackrod and can be seen from many miles around. The first history of the church is lost in obscurity and the date of the birth of the original church is unknown. It goes back further than any known authentic records. There is evidence of settlement in the area since before Roman Britain. Blackrod stands on an ancient Roman road, an important route from London to the North, and it is widely believed that a Roman Fort was built here. Situated on high ground with a good view of surrounding countryside, it would have been in an ideal position. Frieslanders who came as mercenaries with the Roman army settled in Blackrod giving it the Friesian name Blech-rode meaning cold and barren land. The village became an important stop for travellers in medieval times and later merchants came regularly from Manchester to supply yarn to the local handloom weavers. It was once a major coal mining centre with at least seven pits in the village and over a thousand miners living and working locally. The earliest records of mining date from the 1500s. The highest recorded population of the 1800s was in 1881, when there were 4,234 people in Blackrod. In 1992 there were approximately 7,000 residents.

The first recorded evidence of a church in Blackrod is in the Manchester Diocesan Calendar which says that a church existed in 1138. There may have been a Chantry there – the chantry fields and brow are from the road by the side of Aesculap House to the by-pass (this footpath is known locally as Chantry Brow). A Chantry was a small chapel or enclosure within a church, and sometimes a distinct and separate building at a distance from the church in which an altar was erected and consecrated. A priest was appointed to chant certain prescribed services for the welfare of individuals mentioned by name whilst they were living and also for the repose of their souls after death. A Cheetham Society publication says:

“Chantry in the Chapel of Blackrode dedicated to St. Katharine the Virgin, founded in 1338 by Dame Mabella, widow of Sir William de Bradshaw, Knight, and in her own right the Manorial owner of Blackrode, West Leigh and Haigh, for the souls of all the faithful deceased. Having obtained the Royal License and assent, and also the sanction of Master Richard de Haneving, Archdeacon of Chester and Prebendary of Bolton-in-the-Mores in the Cathedral Church of Lichfield and also the consent of the Earl of Lancaster and Leicester”.

The Chaplain was to make special mention of the name of Mabella in the celebration of Mass and to find chalices, books, vestments and other necessaries, and neither the vicar, prebendary or Church of Bolton were to remove the goods for the use of others. The chaplain was also to receive yearly from the Lorde of Blackrode, gifts of cattle and sheep at the feast of Pasche (Passover).

Lady Mabel is a local legend in her own right. As Mabel Norreys (Norris), sole heiress of Haigh and Blackrod, she married Sir William Bradshaghe (Bradshaw), in about 1295. Then followed a turbulent period when Sir William was involved in the Banastre rebellion. This was directed against Thomas, Earl of Lancaster (who was at cross purposes with his cousin the King) and his favourite Sir Robert de Holland. The rebellion was crushed and Bradshaghe was outlawed and lived abroad for about ten years. In the meantime, Lady Mabel assumed he was dead and married a welshman – Sir Henry Teuthor. The story continues with Sir William returning, and killing the Welshman. Lady Mabel did penance for committing bigamy by walking barefoot, once a week, from Haigh Hall to the cross, still known as Mab’s Cross, in Standishgate, Wigan. As well as the Chantry at Blackrod she also founded a chantry chapel in Wigan Parish Church where Sir William was buried in 1333, and Lady Mabel in 1348.

Lady Mabel settled Haigh on Sir William’s nephew, William de Bradshaghe, and Blackrod on her brother-in-law Roger de Bradshaghe.

 The Sixteenth Century

Little is known of the church during the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries, however, Henry VIII’s agents carefully noted its emoluments. The Commission reported that Mass was said daily and also:

“That the chappel was 5 myle from Bolton, that it stodd upon the King’s street betwixte Lancaster and London and that a priest doth daily celebrate accoring to his foundation”

This means the ritual of the Catholic Church. It also stated that the Chantry tenants were Cythe Forster, Thurston Longworth, Gearge Shepheard, John Shepheard and wyffe.

Ralph Forster was the first priest to be called an incumbent. He was appointed by Sir Richard Houghton, the patron of the living. It was the time of the Reformation, and in 1548 during his incumbency, the Chantry was suppressed and the chantry lands sold. A sum of £4 4s 1½d, known as the King’s Salary, was granted in lieu of the chantry lands. In 1549 an Act of Uniformity imposed exclusive use of the first Book of Common Prayer in all public services, and laid down penalties for holders of benefices who failed to comply. A further Act in 1552 ordered use of the revised book of Common Prayer of that year. Absence from church was punishable by ecclesiastical censure, and attendance at other forms of service by imprisonment.

During the reign of Edward VI in the year 1553, the following statement was made:

“Church Goods of Blackrod.
This indenture made ye last day of September in the 6th year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord Edward VI, by Edmunde Trafford, John Atherton, John Holcrofte and Thomas Holte – Knights – Sir Raufe Foster, George Hulme and John Vause ye younger from Blackrod:-

Ye Aulte Clothes, many of them torn: Item – sutes off course clothes and other meane sute of clothes for a priest; Item – Four corporas (cloth on which consecrated bread is placed) and cases for ye same, old towells, old cope, old surplis, one cross of brass and one other cross of latya and wudde; four little candlesticks of brass standing on ye Aulte; one brass cruet of pewter and one buckett and one sensor of brass; four little sacrying bells, small bells, and one hand bell which are all ye Towns there; Item – one great candlestick of brasse in ye house of Isabell Shep’t belonging to ye Churche of Blackrode, safelly to be kept to ye use of our said sovereign Lord ye King. That ye said Aulter cloths, sutes etc. shall not at anytime hereafter be alienated, imbeasled or otherwise put away from our said sovereign Lord ye King, but shall be answerable and forthcoming to the use of his highness at such times and as his majestie or his honourable council shall demand the same. In witness where of we have set our seals to the present interchangeable.”

The Act of 1559 ordered the use of the 1552 Book of Common Prayer with slight modifications. Absence from church was now punishable by a fine.

A church was built in the reign of Elizabeth I by Thomas Houghton and Edward Norris esquires, joint Lords of the Manors. According to the Parliamentary inquisitors there were only two townships in the Parish of Bolton that paid tithe in kind. Blackrod ws one – £30 a year.

Part of the Elizabethan church still stands – the lower part of the present tower.

 The Seventeenth Century

The Civil War caused much upheaval in Blackrod in the 1640’s. Bolton was one of the main headquarters of the Parliamentary forces in Lancashire. Wigan and Blackrod were loyal to the King. Situated on the borders of Wigan and Bolton, Blackrod was involved in many skirmishes between the two areas, and must have experienced some division of loyalties as families were involved in one side or the other. Wigan was temporarily controlled by the parliamentarians in 1643, but was rescued by a major Royalist force under the command of Prince Rupert, nephew of King Charles, who then proceeded to Bolton. On May 28th 1644 the Great Massacre of Bolton took place and the town was captured by the Royalists. In Blackrod a battle took place at this time in the valley between Rigby and Tucker’s Hill. Local schoolchildren regularly re-enact ‘the Battle of Rigby Hill’ dressed as Cavaliers or Roundheads!

King Charles I was tried and beheaded in 1649 and a Commonwealth was declared by Oliver Cromwell’s parliament. Cromwell’s rule was severe and the Puritan religion was strictly enforced. Many churches suffered at the hands of the Parliamentary visitor.

In 1650 the Parliamentary inquisitors represented that “Blackrod chappell lyeth in a corner of the Hundreds of Salford and is fit to be a parish church.” Mr. Gerard Browne officiated –

“a painful, godly and orthodox minister and a man of pious life and conversation, who had been approved by 2nd classic; Mr. Hilton, an unordained person having been declared insufficient and unworthy, his baptism being null and void. Mr. Browne hath for salary Four Pounds per annum, usually paid by the receiver at the audite and paid to the ministers at Blackrode, who hath given security for the same unto Nicholas Turner of the place aforesaid, who receives it yearly and pays t to the said minister. The tythes are worth Twenty Pounds per annum, entirely paid to Mr. Anderton of Lostock, and since his delinquency are taken for the use of the publick.”

Mr. Anderton paid the penalty of being loyal to the King.

Bolton Parish Church is regarded as the “Mother Church” of Blackrod. This means that the “daughter church” is the offspring and has benefited from the “Mother”. In Blackrod’s case, St Katharine’s is older than the mother. We don’t know when it became subject to Bolton but St. Katharine’s was very loyal and ever ready to obey calls for help that were demanded by the Mother Church at the expense of the “daughter”! Some examples are:

June 1659 —   towards repairs to bell, walls, gate and flags £4 10s 0d
October 1662 —   towards church expenses £1 16s 0d
November 10th 1662 18s 0d
June 1663 £3 12s
June 1664 £1 16s
May 1667 —   towards a new window £3 15s 0d

and so on, until Blackrod became a dilapidated chapel!

Charles II was proclaimed King in 1660 and the Church of England was re-established. In 1662 an Act of Uniformity required that all ministers should publicly assent to the 1662 Book of Common Prayer and ordered its exclusive use. Ministers not episcopally ordained (that is by Bishops) were ejected from their livings. This happened to the minister at Blackrod in 1662 – Mr Richard Astley. He was born near Manchester and brought up in the public school there.

“His early inclination and solidity were very observable where he boarded, so that when his father came to take him from school, intending him for trade, some discerning persons in the family earnestly recommended his continuance at school, expressing their hope that he might be useful in the ministry. His father yielded to their advice and found his son’s proficiency in learning answered his expectation.

Upon his going to university some of his pious friends met together, without his knowledge, to ask a blessing on his studies. He gave them a sermon in private and justified their expectations. He was a great preacher. After his ejectment from Blackrod he became pastor of a Dissenting congregation in Hull and died in 1691.”

While we are still in the 17th Century it is interesting to note that the earliest church registers date from 1606 – there may have been earlier records. Some interesting facts include:

1662 – Scale of Tithes:-
For every child born and baptised 4 shilling
House dues for man and wife 4½d
For widow or widower 3½d
For every milk cow ½d
For every colt 1 shilling
For a swarm of bees 1 shilling

The earliest names of Church Wardens are:

Henry Hart – 1631; Henry Holden – 1632; George Vause – 1633; Thurston Shepheard – 1635; Roger Browne – 1636; Alexander Vause – 1637.

1630 – Thomas Ainscough and Roger Browne
1651 – Alexander Vause and John Hurst
1652 – William Morris and Thomas Deane
1653 – J. Clayton and William Barnes
1654 – R. Nightingale
1655 – George Vause and Nicholas Harrison

Order of Overseers of the poor:

1663 – John Hurst and Roger Hodgkinson
1664 – Thomas Vause and James Higham
1666 – Alexander Hodgkinson and John Sheppard

The Constables were the guardians of order and to them was delegated the important duty of seeing to the peace of the district and the requirements of the law. They had to report to the Judge to whom they were immediately responsible. Constables at Blackrod held jurisdiction in Aspull. Humphrey Wood in 1585 had a sum of money paid to him as constable for the joint districts. In 1682 the church registers had a record of the report made by the constables of Blackrod and Aspull:

“We have no murder, felonies or like misdemenours committed within our liberties to present, to the best of our knowledge; we have permitted no vagabonds or suspected persons to pass through our town unpunished, that we know of; Winchester Watch has been duly observed; we have no common drunkards, swearers or cursors to present”.

10th July, 1691: “It was agreed by the inhabitants of Blackrode, its Churchwardens and overseers of ye poor, that constables shall have one shilling to every officer allowed by the town to pay for their writing”.

Very little remains of the 16th and 17th Century Church. In the churchyard many of the headstones have been removed – the earliest was dated 1671. The font from the Elizabethan Church has been repaired and now stands in the Vicarage garden. A datestone can be found at the base of the tower window, indicating that this was installed in 1638. Artefacts to be found inside the church include a carved wooden poor box and two Jacobean “Bishop’s Chairs”

 The Eighteenth Century

In the 1760’s action was taken to rebuild the church. A petition, dated 12th October 1761, was written by the Minister, Chapel Warden and inhabitants of Blackrod for a brief or license to organise the collection of money for the repair of its church. The petition says:

“…that the body and chancel of the Parochial chapel of Blackrod is a very ancient structure, but through length of time is become so ruinous and in decay that the Petitioners, who are only to repair the said chapel and likewise pay yearly eight pounds or therabouts for and towards the repair of the Parish Church of Bolton, have been yearly at great expense in repairing and supporting the said chapel, but that the walls thereof are so cracked and bulged, the foundation having given way, and roof so rotten and decayed and the whole chapel in general in so ruinous a condition, that it cannot be sufficiently repaired but must be wholly taken down and rebuilt, and the said chapel at present is much too small to contain those who resort there to hear divine service.”

The estimated cost for rebuilding was £1,128 15s 0d or £1,278 15s 0d if a plan for a larger edifice were approved. The church was restored in 1766.

In 1769 an auction of pews was held to reduce the debt caused by the rebuilding. The pews were offered to the highest bidders at a public meeting, and the conditions of the sale were:-

“…that every purchaser, their heirs and assigns, should hold and enjoy the said seats for ever, and to be free from any rents, taxes or impositions for the same.”

The prices ranged from £5 5s 0d to £7 16s 0d. When the nave was rebuilt in 1911 the doors from these box pews, complete with their name plates, were placed under the tower to form panelling. Some of the names are still legible and include: No. 40 – John Brown, Joseph Ridgway Esq, Roger Holt Esq, and No. 6 – Rt. Hon the Lord Chief Justice Clayton.

The following are some extracts from the church registers in the 1770’s:-

In 1775: The Vestry voted the sum of 3 shillings for carting coal required for the town bonfire on Guy Fawkes Day, November 5th; the sum voted being evidently overspent for in the following year the vestry refunded Thomas Derbyshire 5 shillings “which he had spent at the town’s bonfire”.

1779: Accounts included –

A churchwarden’s payment for a journey to Bolton to ask the vicar to preach – 1/6d.
New shoes for John Harrison – 6 shillings
Whip for John Harrison – 6d
Hat for John Harrison – 3 shillings
New pair of breeches – 9/2d
The making of John Harrison’s waistcoat – 3/3d
Postage of letter from Manchester – 5d
Expended at making up church accounts – 2 shillings
For mending John Harrison’s shoes – 2 shillings
Paid Mr. Bancroft in meat and liquor when church sermon was preached – 7/6d
Paid waiter at same time – 7d
Paid Hindley singer for services at Sermon – 5 shillings

 The Bells

Up until 1791 only one bell hung in the steeple, but five more were hung in this year. The new bells were made by William Mears, Bellfounders of London, in 1786. Their weights are as follows:

Tenor 12 cwt Note F#
Vth 9 cwt G#
IVth 7½ cwt A#
IIIrd 6½ cwt B
IInd 5½ cwt C#
Treble 5 cwt D#
A total of 45½ cwt

The bells were rehung in 1922 at a cost of £460.

 The Nineteenth Century

Improvements were made to the church during the early part of the Nineteenth Century. First, North and South galleries were added in 1832, giving 170 additional seats. Documents speak of a “boys” and “womens” gallery! Secondly, in 1937 the tower was raised and a turret clock added – the case for the weights can still be seen under the tower. This was paid for by donations.

In 1869 780 square yards of land adjoining the churchyard was given to the church. The owner, the Marquess de Rothwell, Richard Rainshaw Rothwell of Sharples Hall, near Bolton-le-Moors, gave the land to be used for additional burial ground but kept the mining rights for himself and his heirs! He specified that a street was to be built next to the land and called De Rothwell Street, and, “…within six months a wall should be built around of Horwich stone (not Blackrod) seven feet high and maintained hereafter…”

The churchyard was closed for burials in 1881, excepting family graves and vaults.

Two charities were set up in the Nineteenth century – St. Stephen’s, and the Popplewell Charities. In 1815 a local benefactor named John Ainscough invested £60, with the interest to be used every St. Stephen’s Day for the poor, and bread given every Christmas Day. The interest on £50 was to be distributed on St. John the Baptist Day.

In 1820, £1,000 was invested by John Popplewell of Woodford, Essex, to yield £110 for the vicar to distribute to repair the family tomb of Thomas Aynscough – his uncle. The charity money was to be distributed on December 10th each year – still called “Dow Day” or Endowmment Day. £2 was to be given to the Vicar for a sermon, £1 to the clerk, £1 to the ringers, £1 to singers; £42 to the poor who are most regular in their worship, £12 to grammar school children, and bread and blankets were to be purchased. John’s sisters – Ann and Rebecca Popplewell – later increased the amount by £2,160. The Popplewell money is still given annually to children from the church schools in Blackrod with the highest attendance record.

Large painted wooden tablets can be seen under the tower, giving details of the Popplewell charities.

 The Twentieth Century

The turn of the century brought many changes to the Church. In 1903 permission was granted:

“…to pull down the whole of the present church with the exception of the tower and to rebuild the same on the site of the present church with the addition of new Chancel and Organ Chambers and Vestries.”

Land was purchased in 1904 adjoining the north easterly side of the churchyard for £27 10s from the Trustees of the will of John Strickland, for addition to the site and the churchyard. The new chancel, organ chamber and vestries were to be built on this additional churchyard.

“The cost of such enlargement, additions and other improvements is estimated to amount to the sum of £2,000.”

Many fund-raising events and activities were organised at this time, to raise the cost of rebuilding. One such fund-raising effort involved the making of a patchwork quilt. Parishioners paid one shilling to have their name sewn onto a patch on the quilt. 600 names were stitched altogether and £30 was raised for the church funds! The quilt was completed in 1902.

In 1905 the Chancel was rebuilt and extended over part of the grave yard, and in 1911 the Nave was rebuilt, at a cost of £5,000. The architect was R. B. Preston and the contractors were Leonard Fairclough of Adlington.

The architect’s plans are still in existence and state the use of “pink stone from Darley Dale, Matlockshire” for much of the stonework.

An interesting detail arising from the rebuilding work involved the original pulpit being incorporated into the staircase at Bobbin Hall, a weaver’s house in the village. Originally built in the 1780’s, the cellars were used to make bobbins for the muslin factory at Rivington. At the turn of the century the house was lived in by the Harrison family – William Harrison was Headmaster and Churchwarden in Blackrod. At the time of the Church alterations in 1905, Bobbin Hall was also rebuilt after being damaged by fire, and thus the pulpit was put to good use!

The exterior of the church has remained much the same since 1912. The churchyard was grassed over in 1973, and many of the older headstones were removed or buried. The clock in the church tower was replaced by an illuminated clock after the Second World War. A memorial tablet inside the church reads:

“The old clock erected in the tower of this church in 1837 has been replaced by an illuminated clock, which is given by parishioners and friends in grateful memory of all those connected with this parish who made the great sacrifice in the two World Wars, 1914-18 and 1939-1945, and as a thank offering to God for our country’s deliverance.
The cost of the illumination, £150, was met by the generosity of Percy and Elizabeth Seddon, in loving memory of their only son James, who gave his life August 27th 1941, in his 20th year.”

There have been some changes inside the church, for instance the installation of electric lighting in 1932. This work was funded by Annie Greenhalgh, in memory of her husband William who died in 1929. He had been Head of Scot Lane School from 1898 to 1928.

The oak reredos and panelling along the east wall of the Chancel was erected by friends and parishioners in 1929 in memory of Robert Whittaker Gordon, Vicar of Blackrod from 1912 to 1929.

The organ was installed in 1939 by Harold Ainsworth Harrison in memory of his parents, William and Mary Harrison, Head and Headmistress of the Parish Church Schools. The previous organ was dismantled and removed.

The organ was installed and built by Henry Willis & Sons Ltd, organ builders of Liverpool. It was rebuilt in 1970 by Charles Smethurst of Manchester.

The altar rails and gates were installed in 1938 in memory of James Hampson, J.P. who died in 1934.

The altar and reredos in the South Aisle (Lady Chapel), were given in 1949 in memory of the Revd. Canon David Humphrey Pugh, Vicar of Blackrod from 1929 to 1947.

St. Katharine’s also has many beautiful stained glass windows. The oldest of these, the east window, depicts the Crucifixion and was installed in 1914 in memory of George Worsley Coleman, Vicar of Blackrod from 1877 to 1900, who died in 1912. In the south wall of the Chancel are two small windows given in memory of Abraham Preston and his wife, who died in 1954.

The Lady Chapel window at the east end of the South aisle depicts “The Annunciation” and was given by W. Hope in memory of his wife Alvena in 1949. The end window in the south wall depicts “Christ the Carpenter” and was given in memory of Luther Bullough who died in 1964. The next window was given in memory of Maud, Jane and Alice Walkden “whose legacy enabled the church to be completely reroofed 1991”. At the west end, the Baptistry window depicts “The Nativity” and was given in memory of Beatrice and Ellen Gobin in 1980.

The “Saint Katharine” window is at the east end of the north wall. This was given in memory of Dr. Harold Ainsworth Harrison in 1982.

At the west end of the north wall is the most recent addition. This window was given by Mrs J. Hicks of Anderton in memory of members of her family. It was installed in December 1992, and has the theme “Let the Children come to Me”. The window was designed and made by Linda Walton at her studio “Design Lights” in Wigan.

There follows a short “tour” of the church with details of other interesting artefacts which can be seen, starting from the West end of the church, in the Baptistry:

Here can be found the St. Katharine’s Banner which is carried annually in the Procession of Witness through the village. The oak font cover was given in 1935 in memory of Thomas Bentham who died in 1926. The Font Ewer was given in memory of John Robert Dickinson who died in 1926, by his wife and children. On the wall can be seen stone tablets of The Ten Commandments, The Lord’s Prayer and The Creed. There is a memorial tablet to the Revd. John Chisenhale of Arley who died in 1782, and his family. The family vault is sited under the church.

Under the tower, banners for the Mothers’ Union, Pathfinders and other youth groups are kept. On the walls are the tablets for the Popplewell charities, a painted coat of arms, and a tapestry made in 1904 by Hannah Smith in memory of her parents. The walls are lined with pew doors from the old box pews.

On the north wall of the Nave are various wall tablets: memorials to John Smethurst, engineer, who died in 1877, and to his son John, given by workers at Garswood Hall Collieries, Bryn in 1900. Further along is a memorial tablet to the Revd. Ralph Calvert Williams Croft who died in 1900 having been Vicar of Blackrod for 23 years. There is also a memorial tablet to William Harrison, Headmaster of the Parish Schools of Blackrod for 31 years, who died in 1918.

The pulpit was installed when the new chancel was built in 1905; the words carved into the sides read “We Preach Christ Crucified”. The crucifix on the wall near the pulpit was given in memory of Pte. Charles Walsh who died in 1944 aged 30 years. The Lectern was given in memory of the Revd. R. C. W. Croft in 1900.

In the chancel is the organ, and choir stalls. Here also can be seen the Processional Cross given in memory of Owen David Pugh in 1936, Aumbrey given in memory of Thomas Ollerton, Sanctuary Lamp given in 1967 in memory of Luther Bullough, Portable Font given in 1967 in memory of James Fearnley, and an oak prayer desk given in memory of Susan Harrison who died in 1938 aged 14 years. There are two Jacobean Bishop’s Chairs.

On the Altar in the Lady Chapel can be seen two candle stands given in memory of Gertrude Speak, by her family. On the south wall of the Lady Chapel hangs the flag of the British Legion, above memorial tablets for the two World Wars. 41 names appear on the memorial for the 1914-18 war, and 19 names on that for the 1939-45 war.

Along the south wall can be seen memorial stones for Richard James Entwistle who died in 1872, and his wife Isabella of Holmes House, Blackrod, The Revd. Peter William Browne, Vicar of Blackrod 1846-1861, who died in 1861 and is interred at Mount Carmel Cemetery, Co. Dublin, and the Revd. Francis Richard Swallow, Vicar of Blackrod for 16 years until 1877.