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Latitude: 53.735 / 53°44'6"N
Longitude: -2.5428 / 2°32'34"W
OS Eastings: 364287
OS Northings: 426650
OS Grid: SD642266
Mapcode National: GBR BTP7.8V
Mapcode Global: WH970.XD90
Entry Name: Roman Catholic Church of St Mary and St John the Baptist
Listing Date: 24 November 1966
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1072419
English Heritage Legacy ID: 184724
Location: Pleasington, Blackburn with Darwen, BB2
County: Blackburn with Darwen
Civil Parish: Pleasington
Traditional County: Lancashire
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lancashire
Church of England Parish: Feniscowles Immanuel
Church of England Diocese: Blackburn
SD 62 NW PLEASINGTON PLEASINGTON ROAD
SD 643 266
1/51 Roman Catholic Church of
St. Mary and St. John the Baptist
Church, 1816-19, by John Palmer, with carving and sculpture by Thomas Owen.
Ashlar, with low-pitched slate roof. Tall and prominent building in
mixed Gothic style. Nave with aisles, polygonal apse. West front has
C12-style portal of 3 orders with tablet flower and crocketed hoodmould,
above which are 3 statues on corbels (the under side of the middle corbel is
a bust of George, Prince Regent, lettered on each side "G" "R" and dated in
the corner "MDCCCXIIII"), all these within a giant arch with dogtooth and
small carved figures. Above this arch a small parapet pierced with quatrefoils
separates it from the wall above, which is set back slightly, contains an
elaborate wheel window, and is flanked by octagonal turrets terminating in
3-stage pinnacles linked by a parapet of zig-zag openwork meeting a crocketed
cross on the apex. Left and right of the front are side-offices (containing
staircase and vestry) which have elaborately carved niches lettered
respectively THOMAS OWEN SCULPTOR and JOHANNES PALMER ARCHITECTUS, the latter
having a hoodmould with figured stops portraying the architect's wife and his
son. The gable above the wheel window has 3 lines of incised uncial lettering.
Five-bay nave and aisles: nave has small buttresses, stepped triple lancet
clerestory windows, and openwork lattice parapet; aisles have gableted
buttresses and embattled parapets, 5-light windows with alternating
Geometrical and Perpendicular tracery in shafted and deeply-moulded arches,
hoodmoulds with figured stops; 4th bay on south side has simple priest door
below ½-depth window. Short polygonal apse has buttresses at the angles,
tall 5-light Perpendicular windows with transoms. Interior: high and
luminous, with rib-vaulted roofs to nave and aisles (carved bosses in the
centre), 4-bay arcade of shafted piers and moulded arches with dogtooth
ornament; west end is occupied by a generous internal narthex presenting a
2-bay arcade to the nave (the supporting column rising from the centre of a
pedestalled stoup) and carrying a raked choir gallery with an organ at the top;
east end has traceried wooden communion rail on segmental steps to sanctuary,
which is framed by a very high arch, and has on each side of the altar a
large carved relief, depicting the Beheading of St. John, and the Magdalen; at
south side priest's door is set in centre of elaborate carved stone screen.
History: built as thank offering by John Francis Butler, then owner of
Pleasington township, said to have cost £23,000. Exceptional form of
Catholic chapel for the period before Emancipation; and very elaborate use
of Gothic with sculpture of great originality. (References: Pevsner;
Whitaker Whalley vol. II pp. 352-7).
Listing NGR: SD6428426650
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