Photos of Wigan
Photos of Wigan

Wigan Album

St Mary's Church, Lower Ince


St Mary's Church
Photo: David Singer
Views: 995
Item #: 32410
St Mary's church, Lower Ince. Apologies for poor photo quality.

Comment by: Stan on 24th May 2020 at 21:43

St Mary's Church was very big.

Comment by: Mr X on 24th May 2020 at 22:10

There were two St Mary's churches in Wigan, the Roman Catholic one in Standishgate, and this Anglican one in Ince near the cemetery. I don't remember it and the reason it closed down in the 1970s (I think it was 1977 or 1978). The most well known St Mary church in Britain is probably Redcliffe in Bristol.

Comment by: Albert.S. on 25th May 2020 at 09:13

Mx X. It was on the opposite side of Warrington Road, from The Old Hall pub, and Cemetery Lane.

Comment by: TommyT on 25th May 2020 at 13:38

My daughter was christened there in July 1977.
I think the church was demolished because of mining subsidence.

Comment by: Arthur on 25th May 2020 at 17:06

It was on the left just after the railway bridge, opp the Old Hall.

Comment by: Cyril on 25th May 2020 at 17:29

I was told it was on the same geological fault that St Catharine's is on. A pity it got in such disrepair that it had to be demolished as it had a superb interior too, the folks of Lower Ince and Spring View must have given very generously to have had such a grand church built, there are a lot of photos in Places on the Album. When my wife and I were congregants in the 1970s the vicar was a man with the surname of Capper and he was the last vicar there, though I can't remember his Christian name.

Comment by: Veronica on 25th May 2020 at 18:54

This was where my maternal grandparents were married. I would love to have seen inside.

Comment by: Rev David Long on 25th May 2020 at 20:40

Richard Capper wasn't the last Vicar of St Mary's, I was - and in between there was Graham Keegan. Church reorganisation in Wigan means there are no Vicars in the old parishes in the normal sense - because all the Wigan Parishes have been put together as single entity. There may be priests who carry out the functions of a Vicar in this set-up, but, as they will not have been have been Inducted and Installed in the Living, they cannot really be described as the Vicar.
St Mary's did indeed fall victim to mining subsidence - becoming too expensive to continue repairing as congregations fell. It was demolished after the congregation moved over the road to the former Infants School in 1978. Richard took the congregation through a very difficult time but, when I arrived there, it was a friendly, cheerful place.
As for the building - the congregation played a minimal role in funding its building - the local coal-owners, Pearson and Knowles gave the land and funded the building. They continued to support the church over many years, sending men to carry out repairs etc.., but eventually the congregation was thrown back on its own resources, at the same time as the fundamental problems of the way the building was built and its foundations began to make heavy demands for cash.
I wouldn't have said it was very attractive inside - it should have been built in stone, but was built of bricks made in the nearby brickworks, and acres of plain brick aren't that attractive. It did, however, have some nice furnishings - including the WW1 Memorial reredos behind the altar.

Comment by: Owd viewer on 26th May 2020 at 13:36

Was christened at St Marys in 1949 Mr Wagstaff was the vicer when i was a lad.

Comment by: Albert.S. on 26th May 2020 at 16:41

When I went to this school in the late 30s -early 40s, there was an engraved stone about the centre of the front of the school, I cannot remember the exact wording .It was to the effect that the building of the school had been financed by ‘Pearson and Knowles’, the Ince colliery owners. I don’t know if they financed the building of the church.

Comment by: Rev David Long on 26th May 2020 at 19:22

Albert, unfortunately that stone was lost when the building was pulled down - although it is possible it still exists under the Vicarage. When I was terracing the back garden there I came across stone lintels and window cills - it seems they simply 'dozed the material from the demolition to fill the cellars, and then graded down to the level of the lower playground - leaving an access road between the cemetery wall and the Vicarage boundary.
I used all the stone I salvaged, along with trailers-full from the demolition of Dower House Farm on Moss Lane, as the decorative frontage to the concrete paving slabs, some still carrying yellow markings from being used in the playground, which I built the retaining walls from. The top terrace had two bays - at the centre of the wall of one was the stone plate off the Infant's School, and at the centre of the other the foundation stone from the Institute on Westwood Lane.
Mrs Ethel Round - once Head of the Infants' School took great delight in pointing out the misplaced apostrophe on the plate.
I think that must have been on the entrance facing Burgess Street - which was greatly altered when the new hall was built onto the old school.

Comment by: Owd viewer on 26th May 2020 at 23:01

Can remember Mrs Round and also Miss Fairhurst, I think she lived at the top of Westwood lane after the ceremony the house was on the right.

Comment by: Albert.S. on 27th May 2020 at 09:51

When I went to St Mary’s infant & junior school, the Reverend Bryson was the vicar.

Comment by: Jinksi on 27th May 2020 at 16:36

Owd Viewer,I was Chrisened there in 1948.That photo would have been took near to our Front Door on Warrington Rd.Remember Mr Wagstaf being Vicar.Mr's Round & Miss Fairhurst from St Marys School. Miss Fairhurst lived on right side top of Westward Lane . I used to deliver her Paper.She alway's gave me a good tip at Christmas. Very nice Lady.

Comment by: Owd viewer on 28th May 2020 at 12:18

Jinksi, I lived on Warrington road same row as Mrs Pennintons Off license, I also delivered papers Kay's houses and bottom lodge.,

Comment by: Albert.S. on 31st May 2020 at 11:30

Owd viewer. What was the name of the street where the off licence was on the corner, Brockbanks lived in the house on the opposite corner. Were the Owd hases still standing, or had they been pulled down. I think Shed Street was the next street along, and then Morris Street, that led to the main entrance to Spring’s Branch.

Comment by: Owd viewer on 6th June 2020 at 10:01

Albert the name of the street was Norman St.Think the houses were pulled down in about 1970.

Comment by: Anne on 25th June 2020 at 18:46

Rev David, I remember the plate. At the time I attended the school the plate was in the junior school which stood on the site of your vicarage. The plate was in Mr. Asbridge's classroom, high up on the back wall. The apostrophe you speak of was positioned wrongly in the word boy's which was carved into the stone. It was then painted in the correct position. A lesson which is still with me to this day.
Mrs. Round was aunt to my close friend Pauline, who took me to tea at her home in Broomhey ave. usually after walking day, auntie Ethel and uncle John.

Comment by: Geoff on 25th June 2020 at 21:04

I may be wrong with this... but I have a memory of the teacher who lived on Westwood Lane and I think her name was Fairclough not Fairhurst. Can anyone help with this? I also remember Mrs Round.
I also remember Mr Wagstaff taking assembly at Spring View. I remember Mr Asbridge being the headmaster of St Mary's and he lived in a house which was on the left on Warrington Rd just past the ( Long gone ) railway bridge of the Pemberton loop line. Does anyone remember Mr and Mrs Richardson who were teachers at St Mary's?

Comment by: Anne on 26th June 2020 at 09:23

Geoff.... I remember all you have said. Mr. Richardson married Miss Morris. Other teachers were Mr. Ward, Mrs. Hutchinson who lived in Southport, Miss Marsden, Miss Ingram, Miss Holbrook, a real tarter with the ruler and Mr. Entwistle the headmaster who always parked his car at the top of Donkey lane. Mr .Richardson had a brother who taught at the Deanery when my son was there.

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