Halsall – St. Cuthbert’s and it’s connection with St. Catherine’s Chapel in Lydiate

The other day Sheila and I had the opportunity to visit and have a guided tour of St Cuthbert’s Church in Halsall, which is over 700 years old and in the same historic league as nearby Sefton Church in Sefton Village which, if I recall correctly, is a little bit older being over 800 years.

Modern stained glass in St Cuthbert’s – Halsall

We heard about Cromwell’s troops being billeted there and the damage that was seemingly done by them to stone carvings – knocking off noses and carving their initials on carved Knights gave slabs!

But what we found fascinating was that there is a close connection between St Cuthbert’s and Lydiate’s own St. Catherine’s Chapel, otherwise know as Lydiate Abbey. This connection is via the Ireland family.

St Catherine’s also known as Lydiate Abbey

St. Cuthbert’s is pre-reformation so whilst a C of E Parish Church now it was originally a Roman Catholic place of worship. We were told that folks living in Maghull & Lydiate would have travelled all the way to St Cuthbert’s on a Sunday, despite St. Helen’s Church in Sefton Village and Christ Church in Aughton being nearer for them. Seems in those days you had to and were expected to attend what was designated to be your parish church – no issue of choice back then for the poor in particular.

The stained glass photo is amongst my Flickr shots at:- www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/

Sefton Church – Painting by Harold S Scott


Click on the photo to enlarge it

I came across a 2017 calendar the other day and this was the January picture. I took to it straight away and it turned out that the calendar was of the paintings of Harold S Scott.

Of course Sefton Parish is now in Sefton Borough, indeed the Borough takes its name from the historic village, but it was in West Lancashire until local government reorganisation in 1974.

What a lovely painting of a church that is close to my heart because I was choir boy there around 1970 when it was lit by candles and oil lamps.

Sefton Church – A Dickensian Christmas Fayre and a blast from my past.


Sheila and I went along to the Dickensian Fayre held in the church last Saturday and despite the cold (the church heating had broken down so it was only warm in the Vestry) we had a good time.

Sefton Church's Dickensian Fayre. You can see the candelabra I lit as a young chap for church services.

Sefton Church’s Dickensian Fayre. You can see the candelabra I lit as a young chap for church services.

This 800+ year old church is fascinating and I have to confess that I was a choir boy there from around 1969 to 1972. Electricity was only installed in the main church building during my time there. Prior to that I went early to services with old Bert Sutcliffe of Rossyln Avenue Maghull to light the candelabra and oil lamps.

Here I am sat in the choir stalls:-

I recall sitting in this very seat - if memory serves all of course!

I recall sitting in this very seat – if memory serves well of course!

I met a lady there called Beryl from Lunt (sorry Beryl I did not catch your second name) who was attending the church at the same time I was and we reminisced about folk we had known back then – Gerry Brown the organist who sadly died quite young, Nan and Bert Sutcliffe, Mrs Payne, Owen Yandall the Rector etc.

Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about the church:-


We had a lovely cup of hot soup and a bread roll in the warm Vestry and then went outside to have a look at the church from there (I am sure it was warmer outside!). Have a look at this photo, you can clearly see where the wall and window have been rebuilt as a part of the original stone window frame has been left behind.


A bit of ‘All Our Yesterdays’ for me and a chance to meet so many lovely people from the local area. I was even invited to rejoin the choir by this fine looking Dickensian chap:-


I don’t think I could repeat that Once in Royal David’s City solo again in the church no matter how hard I tried! And anyway I’m an atheist these days.

The first photo is also amongst my Flickr shots at:-


Lunt Meadows – A walk in our local meadow and woodland

Lunt Meadows Intrepretation Board

Sheila and I went for a walk around this vast area of meadow and woodland that sits to the east of Lunt Village and north of Sefton Village.

Here’s three links to web pages which detail the site far better than I can explain it:-




Showicks Bridge is on the eastern boundary of the site and it crosses the River Alt

Showicks Bridge is on the eastern boundary of the site and it crosses the River Alt

If memory serves Showicks Bridge had to be replaced in the 1990’s and I think it took quite a while for Sefton and West Lancashire Councils to agree who would be paying what towards the cost of this significant wooden bridge.

Whilst we were there a couple of chaps were carefully uncovering the part of the meadows where the ancient archaeology is buried.

Archaeology dig at Lunt Meadows

The dig site is within yards of Showicks Bridge.

If you want to visit the site you can either walk to it from a footpath off Bells Lane in Lydiate or there is car park that is accessible on the right down a short track just as you have passed through Lunt Village heading towards Homer Green/Ince Blundell.

The site is vast so we will have to go back there to discover more of it.

Click on any of the photos to enlarge them

Sefton Mill – A further update

My previous posting from the 10th of June refers:-


A few days ago, in response to my recent postings on this subject, I received a message (via this blog site) to the effect that works were happening on the site of the old Mill and did I know what the works were related to. I had no idea as I had not visited the site for a month or more but went to have a look. This is what I saw:-


Click on the photo to enlarge it

I had a chat with the men doing the work and my understanding is that the lines of the walls of the historic Mill will be shown at surface level via the stone pathways that they are presently building. Soft landscaping will be reinstated in the other parts. I assume that an interpretation board will also be placed on the site.

A further visit today revealed how things had moved on:-

Sefton Mill site 30 07 16

Click on the photo to enlarge it

Please shout if I have anything wrong here.

Remains of the historic Sefton Mill – What has gone there?

I understand that the historic remains of Sefton Mill in Sefton Village were expected to be conserved and made available for the public to access when the new housing development (Mill Wear Gardens) was built next to St. Helens Church. The area concerned is in fact a Conservation Area.

The remains of Sefton Mill and Mill Wear Gardens are behind the church viewed from this direction.

The remains of Sefton Mill and Mill Wear Gardens are behind the church viewed from this direction.

Roy Connell, a former local councillor and member of Sefton Council’s Planning Committee, has been trying to get to the bottom of what has gone on and this what he says:-

My recollection of this issue is related to the Planning application, there was a lot of remediation work that had to be carried out and in the process the Sefton Mill was exposed , we saw this at a Planning Visiting Panel meeting.

I asked for the Mill Site to be left exposed and for a fence to be put around it so that it could be seen by visitors to St Helens Church, as far as I can recall that was agreed.

I recently spoke to a chap who lives in the new houses who agrees with my view and who said that he understood that before he bought the house he now lives in.

He also told me that the contractors who ever they were filled the Mill remains in with sand and then covered it over with grass. He also recalls some of the old mill equipment being taken away, but is not sure by whom.

Think the question I would be asking Sefton Planning Department is what do they have on record of what was agreed to by the Planning Committee with regard to this application. Was there any legal agreement made or conditions added to the application?

Appropriate representations have now been made to Sefton Council’s Planning Department and we await a substantive response having had a holding reply. More news when I have it but if you know more please get in touch with me.

The photo above of St Helen’s Church is amongst my Flickr shots at:-