Lancashire Churches

St. John Baptist’s Church in Broughton

Three periods of building and interesting modern glass.

The parish church of St John Baptist at Broughton, or Broughton-in Amounderness, as it is sometimes called, was first recorded in 1112AD. The earliest part of the present church that can definitely be dated is the west tower which has the year 1533 marked on it.

The solid tower is very typical of many North Lancashire churches of this time. It has a west door with a three-light window above, stepped diagonal buttresses on the south west and north west angles, bell openings, and a stair projection on the south east corner. It is embattled, and here, as elsewhere, small heraldic devices are dotted about. Inside, the floor of the tower is the lowest part of the church. A tower arch leads to the nave, and the west respond of a Perpendicular arcade remains on its south side. The original roof line is evident on the east wall of the tower.

The nave itself was built in 1823, and is of smooth ashlar with lancet windows and broad, shallow buttresses. Internally the nave has a flat ceiling divided into square panels. The centre is marked by a quatrefoil in a circle, from which a brass chandelier of 1817 hangs.

The excellent chancel is an Austin & Paley addition of 1905-6. It is of well cut stone, with a black and white timbered roof. The arches have no capitals. On the north side are two tall, narrow, segment-headed arches leading to a passage and rooms. The windows have the same feel. They include good Powell glass of the 1930s, as well as poorer (and gaudier) glass in the west window and elsewhere.

The nave has a fine window of 1985 by Jane Gray. It appears to acknowledge another good window opposite by A.F. Erridge of 1961 depicting Jesus calling his disciples. Both use cartouche-like shapes to frame the main subjects. A Millennium window of 1999 has strong, sinuous lines in red, green and white from top to bottom. A background of vertical lines in blue and purple has five roundels with shields and pictures of local church buildings. It is an unfortunate addition to a set of interesting windows. Doubly so since its strong patterns are very visible from the churchyard, and do nothing for the south elevation.

St. John Baptist’s Church in Broughton.jpg
Garstang Rd, Broughton, Preston PR3 5JB, United Kingdom
Address of Broughton Parish Office: Hoggarth Room, Parish Hall, Broadway, Fulwood, PR2 9YE  ...