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Church of St Mary

A Grade II* Listed Building in Broughton, Flintshire

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Latitude: 53.1693 / 53°10'9"N

Longitude: -2.9845 / 2°59'4"W

OS Eastings: 334283

OS Northings: 364028

OS Grid: SJ342640

Mapcode National: GBR 76.47K9

Mapcode Global: WH88D.4L2Q

Plus Code: 9C5V5298+P5

Entry Name: Church of St Mary

Listing Date: 29 January 2003

Last Amended: 5 October 2005

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 80779

Location: In the angle between Church Road and Chester Road (A5104), to the E of a large roundabout. Set in a large rectangular churchyard retaining some original boundary walling, the NW wall replaced when the

County: Flintshire

Community: Broughton and Bretton (Brychdyn a Bretton)

Community: Broughton and Bretton

Locality: Broughton

Built-Up Area: Broughton

Traditional County: Flintshire

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The Hon. George Neville, Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge, was appointed Rector of Hawarden in 1813, by his brother in law, Sir Stephen Glynne of Hawarden Castle. In 1824, Rector Neville raised a subscription fund to build a church between Broughton and Bretton, donating £100 himself and with a grant from the Church Building and Enlargement Society. The architect was John Oates of Halifax, who had designed other Commissioners' churches, including the neighbouring Buckley Church. Rector Neville and his nephew, Henry Glynne, were collectors of medieval woodwork, some of which was incorporated into the fixtures and fittings of the church. It has been suggested that part of the woodwork may have come from the marital bed of Henry VII, who in 1486 married a member of the Neville family, from whom Rector Neville was descended.

In 1876 a new chancel was built, replacing the original sacrarium, by Kelly and Edwards, architects, of Chester. It was a gift of William Johnson of Broughton Hall, then Mayor of Chester. The glass of the earlier E window (from 1851 and dedicated to Lavinia Glynne) was reinserted in 1876 with some additions, but was replaced again in 1916.


Church with W tower incorporating porch, aisleless nave, and later chancel with N & S gabled transepts. Constructed of roughly coursed yellow-brown stone under slate roofs. Detail includes buttresses with offsets, plinth and 4-centred-arched windows to tower and nave, all 2-light with cinquefoiled heads under hoodmoulds. Three-stage tower with embattled parapets, pyramidal slate roof and stepped diagonal buttresses; bell stage has louvred Tudor-arched openings; W front has doorway with Tudor-arched head and square hoodmould containing boarded double doors, window to 2nd stage, above which is a clock set in a diagonal stone panel; narrow stairlights to N and S sides. Three-bay nave with angle buttresses between the 2-light windows.

Later chancel of snecked sandstone ashlar with gabled transepts housing vestry to S and organ chamber to N. Perpendicular-style 2- or 3-light windows, the lights with cinquefoiled heads; diagonal buttresses; raised stone copings with kneelers; moulded eaves cornice and sill band. E window of chancel is 3-light, the hoodmould with end stops bearing the heads of Queen Victoria and the late Prince Albert; 2-light windows to N & S sides of sanctuary. Gable ends of transepts have 3-light windows, that to S has segmental head with square hoodmould; R return of S transept has pointed-arched doorway leading into vestry. The N window has end stops bearing the heads of Mr and Mrs Johnson.


Simple Georgian nave with steeply pitched roof of 5-and-a-half bays with collar trusses on decorative wooden corbels. Pews with plain bench ends, doorways with Tudor-arched heads. West gallery with wooden front, supported on 4 posts, said to be from a late C15 tester bed. A detailed analysis by Timbrell of the badges, coats of arms and decoration on the posts, suggested they were from the marital bed of Henry VII. The gallery front bears further pieces of ornamental woodwork, including a depiction of St Anne, Virgin & Child, thought to be of German medieval origin, and a pair of griffins, probably from the same source. A central coat of arms is Hanoverian, pre-dating 1801; this is flanked by panels referring to Rector Neville and the construction of the church in 1824. To the R of the chancel arch is the ornamental panelled vestry door, the woodwork thought to have come from the same bed as the gallery posts, possibly the tester or bedstead. Heavily decorated octagonal wooden pulpit to SW of nave, the top moulding thought to be a cornice from the bed, the rest from other sources including Jacobean panelling to the base. Underneath the chancel arch is an early medieval stone piscina, currently used as the font (the C19 font at the W end, with incised quatrefoils, is not in use).

Later chancel, the high stone chancel arch with several orders of mouldings, the hoodmould with angel head stops. Similar arch on N side of chancel, leading to organ chamber. Panelled 4-sided roof with toothed cornice. Windows have rere arches with angel head stops.

Large wall monument to S side of chancel, of red sandstone with cinquefoiled ogee head bearing the arms of the City of Chester: it is a memorial to William Johnson who erected the chancel in 1876. World War II memorial to N side of nave. Stained glass: N and S chancel windows by Kempe, showing Annunciation and the Flight into Egypt. The E window was replaced in 1916 and is by Powell & Sons, but retains the original dedication to Lavinia Glynne of Hawarden Castle.

Reasons for Listing

Listed grade II* for the exceptional medieval woodwork which is built into the fixtures and fittings of this simple late Georgian commissioner's church, a highly unusual combination.

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

  • II Rose Cottage, including forecourt wall
    Located on the W edge of Broughton village, 0.85km SW of the Church. The forecourt wall bounds the NW side of the road, at the corner with Wood Lane.
  • II Manor House
    Fronting the SE side of Manor Lane, on the W side of Hawarden Airport.
  • II Manor Farm
    Fronting the NW side of Manor Lane, on the W side of Hawarden Airport.

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