Lancashire

Churches

Introductory page
Latest updates and forthcoming churches
Descriptions of Lancashire churches
Location map and key
Architectural styles through the ages
Sources, acknowledgements and books
Buy books about church architecture
Church architecture websites
Find out about technical terms

Three periods of building and interesting modern glass

The parish church of St John Baptist at Broughton, or Broughton-in Amounderness, as it is sometimes called, was first recorded in 1112AD. The earliest part of the present church that can definitely be dated is the west tower which has the year 1533 marked on it.

The solid tower is very typical of many North Lancashire churches of this time. It has a west door with a three-light window above, stepped diagonal buttresses on the south west and north west angles, bell openings, and a stair projection on the south east corner. It is embattled, and here, as elsewhere, small heraldic devices are dotted about. Inside, the floor of the tower is the lowest part of the church. A tower arch leads to the nave, and the west respond of a Perpendicular arcaderemains on itssouth side. The original roof line is evident on the east wall of the tower.

The nave itself was built in 1823, and is of smooth ashlar with lancet windows and broad, shallow buttresses. Internally the nave has a flat ceiling divided into square panels. The centre is marked by a quatrefoil in a circle, from which a brass chandelier of 1817 hangs.

The excellent chancel is an Austin & Paley addition of 1905-6. It is of well cut stone, with a black and white timbered roof. The arches have no capitals. On the north side are two tall, narrow, segment-headed arches leading to a passage and rooms. The windows have the same feel. They include good Powell glass of the 1930s, as well as poorer (and gaudier) glass in the west window and elsewhere.

The nave has a finewindow of 1985 by Jane Gray. It appears to acknowledge another good windowopposite by A.F. Erridge of 1961 depicting Jesus calling his disciples. Bothuse cartouche-like shapes to frame the main subjects. AMillennium window of 1999 has strong, sinuous lines in red, green and white from top to bottom. A background ofvertical lines inblue and purple has five roundels with shields and pictures of local church buildings. It is an unfortunate addition to a set of interesting windows. Doubly so since its strong patterns are very visible from the churchyard, and do nothing for the south elevation.

The west tower (1553)

The tower still has the characteristics of the Perpendicular period.

View of the church from below the tower

The floor of the tower is below that of the nave, which in turn is below the level of the chancel.

Nave window by Jane Gray (1985)

St John baptising Jesus, a picture of the church, musical instruments and local wildlife.

Chancel by Austin & Paley(1905-6)

The chancel, in Pevner's words "proclaims its architects at once". It is a very satisfying piece of work.

Photographs and text Tony Boughen