Aughton – St. Mary’s RC Church – If not for the noticeboard onto Prescot Rd you may not realise that it’s a church

I posted a while back about what I understood to be the old St. Mary’s RC Primary School in Melling on the site of what subsequently became ‘The Chesterfield’ banqueting suite on Prescot Road and where a new house is presently being built. Here’s a link to that previous posting:-

When I realised the connection with the RC church just up the road into Aughton (the school was in Melling) I wondered about this church that hardly looks like am ecclesiastical building. Without the crosses on the apexes of the main building and porch, some small religious statues amongst the trees and the notice board outside you could easily pass it by not realising it was a church at all and I wondered why this was the case.

An internet search seemed to provide the answer i.e. ‘Chapel and attached presbytery of the low-key type that prevailed between the passing of the Second Relief Act of 1791 and the Catholic Emancipation Act of 1829.’ The interesting link below, from which this text is taken, gives more details:-

Despite being an atheist church/ecclesiastical buildings have always fascinated me as they often represent the very best in architecture at the time of their construction. St Mary’s turns this view somewhat on its head though as it is quite deliberately understated.

As with my other local history blogs about subjects in Sefton and West Lancs, any additions, corrections and comments are much appreciated.

Melling – Remember ‘The Chesterfield’?

The Chesterfield was a banqueting Suite/restaurant for want of a better description on Prescot Road in Melling, near to the junction with Cunscough Lane. The building was originally a school (St. Mary’s RC Primary School which closed in the 1970’s?) and the banqueting suite/restaurant itself closed around 2000?

The site has now been redeveloped as a large house and here’s a couple of photos of it with an appropriate plaque/datestone reflecting back to what used to be on the site.

The building as it was until the recent redevelopment – Photo Credit Rightmove

From talking to a Melling resident who lives nearby I think I have pieced together the rough history of this site. There seems to have been a link between the former school with St. Mary’s RC Church (of which more in a subsequent posting) just over the civil parish border and further along Prescot Road into Aughton. Also, the old school and indeed the restaurant/banqueting building was used as a polling station in elections until a few years ago.

But that about exhausts all the information that is readily available, unless of course anyone out there can fill in the gaps. Comments, additions and corrections gratefully received.

With thanks to Alan Thompson for his help with this posting