A History of the County of Stafford: Volume 8. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1963.
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Hanley and Shelton lay within the parish of Stoke until the formation of new parishes in the area during the 19th century. The first Anglican chapel there, however, was built in 1738 in what is now Town Road. Its erection was due to the initiative of John Bourne, town clerk of Newcastleunder-Lyme, who gave £500 towards the cost and endowed the curacy; the rest of the cost was met by subscription, including £500 from Richard Hollins of Hanley, and the site was given by John Adams of Birches Head, Hollins's father-in-law. (fn. 1) The chapel seated about 400 but was enlarged by Bourne apparently in 1764, the year of his death. (fn. 2) It was a plain building with three windows on each side and a gallery round three sides of the interior. (fn. 3) By 1777 the fabric was so decayed, partly, it would seem, because of mining subsidence, that plans were then being made for rebuilding; with the continuing growth of population the chapel anyhow became too small. (fn. 4) Under an Act of 1787 it was pulled down and a new chapel, consecrated in 1790, was built a little to the east; it was to be, 'to all intents and purposes, the chapel of Hanley and Shelton'. (fn. 5) The cost, over £1,000, was defrayed by subscription and by the sale of additional pews. (fn. 6) Except for 80 free sittings, all the pews were privately owned, but there was also accommodation for 300 children in the aisles and galleries; (fn. 7) the total seating in 1851 was 1,200. (fn. 8)
The living was a curacy at first and a vicarage from 1868, but became a rectory with the creation of the parish in 1891 under the Stoke Rectory Act of 1889. The patronage was vested in a body of trustees until c. 1918 when it passed to the Bishop of Lichfield. (fn. 9) The benefice was united in 1941 with that of Holy Trinity, which was in the gift of the Crown and the bishop alternately. The bishop was then given the right of presentation for three turns out of four, and still (1959) shares the patronage with the Crown. (fn. 10) John Bourne endowed the curacy with a farm at Audley which was conveyed to the Governors of Queen Anne's Bounty and is evidently represented by two grants of £400 made from the Bounty in 1740 and 1741. (fn. 11) Further grants were made from the Bounty in 1803 (£200), 1804 (£200), 1805 (£200), and 1810 (£300). (fn. 12)
The church of ST. JOHN THE EVANGELIST, on a commanding site west of the town-centre, is of brick with stone dressings and consists of a wide nave, a west tower of four stages, and a projecting chancel added in 1871. (fn. 13) The nave windows, arranged in two tiers, are slightly pointed and there are Gothic openings in the tower. The four entrances to the body of the church, one near each end of the north and south walls, are purely Classical, having stone Tuscan pilasters and pediments. Those near the east end give access to circular vestibules containing gallery staircases. The chancel of 1871 (fn. 14) is built of brick in the Gothic style. The church was restored in 1885. (fn. 15) Surviving 18th-century fittings include galleries on three sides of the nave and two internal porches of panelled wood. The font dates from 1879, the organ from 1912, the reredos from 1930, and the other chancel fittings from 1935. (fn. 16) In 1880 the date-tablet of the original chapel (1738) was discovered and has been mounted in the north vestibule. The church contains several mural tablets, the earliest of which commemorates Ephraim Chatterley (d. 1811). The plate includes a silver chalice of 1750, the gift of Ralph Taylor, and a silver flagon and silver paten of 1788, the gift of the Hon. J. Fitzwilliam. (fn. 17) There are 10 bells, 8 dating from 1790 and the other 2 from the early 20th century. (fn. 18) The registers date from 1754. (fn. 19) The churchyard of the first chapel was less than an acre in extent, but land was added at the time of the rebuilding, bringing the area up to an acre. (fn. 20)
A house was built near the junction of Albion Street and Old Hall Street for the curate in 1813 with money raised by subscription and the mortgaging of the living. This was burnt down during the riots of 1842, and a new house was built soon afterwards in Old Hall Street, the rector receiving £2,000 compensation from the Hundred. (fn. 21) This site was sold to the city in 1958 for development, and the rector now lives at no. 204 Waterloo Road, Burslem, the former vicarage house of Holy Trinity, Sneyd. (fn. 22) The house in Old Hall Street, recently demolished, was a low two-story brick building with stone dressings set back in its own garden and adjacent to the Albion Hotel.
The following mission centres have been opened from St. John's: the Workmen's Refuge c. 1871c. 1887, (fn. 23) possibly identifiable with the mission centre at the Workmen's Club mentioned from 1899 and closed c. 1928; (fn. 24) St. John's Mission Hall opened in the former Congregational chapel in Town Road in 1884 and closed c. 1897; (fn. 25) the Cross Street Mission Room c. 1887–c. 1947; (fn. 26) and the Boys' Club c. 1899–c. 1922. (fn. 27)
The church of ST. MARK in Broad Street, Shelton, was built in 1831–4 under the terms of the Stoke Rectory Act of 1827 allowing the sale of tithe and glebe belonging to Stoke Rectory for the endowment of new parishes; with a seating capacity of 2,100 it is said to be the largest parish church in the diocese. (fn. 28) The cost was met partly by subscription but in the main by a grant from the Church Building Commissioners. (fn. 29) A new parish was created out of Stoke parish in 1843. (fn. 30) The living, which has always been a rectory, was at first in the gift of Clotworthy Gillmoor, Commander R.N., (fn. 31) but by 1857 the patronage had passed to the Revd. Charles Gillmoor. (fn. 32) By 1859 it was in the hands of the Revd. Francis Grant (rector 1845–65), (fn. 33) and in 1860 it was conveyed by Henry Birch 'and another' to the Revd. Alfred Peache, who in 1862 conveyed it to Wilberforce Heeles. (fn. 34) In 1864 Heeles 'and another' conveyed it to the Revd. S. T. Nevill (rector 1865–72 and appointed Bishop of Dunedin, New Zealand, in 1871), who mortgaged it in the same year. (fn. 35) It was held by successive rectors (fn. 36) until the resignation of the Revd. A. W. Carter (rector 1903–10), who retained it and by his will, proved in 1914, left it to the Bishop of Lichfield, (fn. 37) still the patron. (fn. 38)
The church, which was much admired at the time it was built, stands on high ground and is still a dominant feature in this part of the city. It is a stone building designed in the Gothic style by John Oates of Halifax and completed after his death by Matthew Oates and Thomas Pickersgill of York. (fn. 39) It consists of a tall aisled nave and a west tower 120 ft. high surmounted by an arcaded parapet and eight crocketted pinnacles. Originally there was a square-ended chancel, flanked by a porch and a vestry, with a triple lancet window at its east end; (fn. 40) the present apsidal chancel, designed by R. Scrivener and Sons, was added in 1866 when the church was restored. (fn. 41) The nave is lighted on each side by seven lancet windows and has tall arcades supported on octagonal stone piers. There are galleries in the aisles and across the west end of the nave. The principal entrance to the church at its west end opens into a vaulted octagonal lobby occupying the lowest stage of the tower. This is flanked by vestibules containing the gallery staircases. The original pulpit had a sounding-board and was 'elevated on a pedestal shaft'. (fn. 42) The present pulpit was installed after the First World War. (fn. 43) There was originally one bell, dated 1833; a second was added in 1877. (fn. 44) The former rectory house in Rectory Road was built shortly before 1851; (fn. 45) Dean Woodhouse, Rector of Stoke 1814–31, had given £1,000 for this purpose. (fn. 46) The house is stone-fronted with two curvilinear gables and by the late 1950's was occupied as a social and welfare club. A smaller house had then been built for the rector on part of the site.
The following mission centres have been opened from St. Mark's: at Etruria in 1844, replaced by new parochial organization in the same year; Ashley Street School c. 1871–c. 1903; (fn. 47) St. Saviour's c. 1890–c. 1895; (fn. 48) St. Mark's Hall, Tinkersclough, c. 1895–c. 1912, evidently replaced by the present St. Mark's Mission Chapel built c. 1912 on an adjoining site and by the present centre at Shelton school, also opened c. 1912; (fn. 49) and Shelton New Mission c. 1908–c. 1912, (fn. 50) possibly replaced by Broad Street Mission Room opened c. 1912 and closed c. 1947. (fn. 51)
In 1844 services were held at Etruria, within the parish of St. Mark, Shelton, in a clubroom over the stable of the Etruria Inn. (fn. 52) A new parish was created in the same year, (fn. 53) and a chapel erected on the canalside 'for the use of the boatmen employed on the Trent and Mersey Canal'. (fn. 54) In 1845 the bishop instructed that the schoolroom then being built should be used for services as soon as it was completed in place of 'the boatmen's chapel'. (fn. 55) The church of ST. MATTHEW was built in 1848–9 on a site given by the Duchy of Lancaster, the cost being met by subscription and grants from the Diocesan Church Extension Society, the Church Building Society, and the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. (fn. 56) The living, a perpetual curacy from the formation of the parish in 1844 and a vicarage from 1868, has remained in the alternate gift of the Crown and the Bishop of Lichfield. (fn. 57) Designed by Henry Ward and Son of Hanley. (fn. 58) in the Early English style and built of sandstone from Caldon Low, (fn. 59) St. Matthew's consists of navc, aisles, chancel, and north-west turret. There were originally galleries on three sides. (fn. 60) The church, which was constantly subject to mining subsidence, (fn. 61) had to be restored in 1890, (fn. 62) 1894, (fn. 63) 1905, (fn. 64) and 1915, (fn. 65) and again in 1947–8 as a result of bombing. (fn. 66) By 1960 most of the walls were out of the perpendicular and had been secured by iron ties, while two of the stone arches of the nave were supported on wooden strutting. Basford Lodge on Basford Bank was at first used as the parsonage house, (fn. 67) but this was replaced by the present house c. 1857. (fn. 68)
Emmanuel Mission was opened from St. Matthew's c. 1909 and closed c. 1957. (fn. 69)
A new parish covering much of the central part of Hanley was created out of the parish of St. Mark in 1845. (fn. 70) A building known as the Museum, possibly part of the Mechanics' Institution in Frederick Street (now Gitana Street), was licensed for divine service in 1846. (fn. 71) The church of HOLY TRINITY was built in 1848–9 on a site at the junction of Trinity Street and Lower Foundry Street given by the Duchy of Lancaster; the cost was met by subscription and grants from various church building societies. (fn. 72) Abandoned in 1940, the church was demolished in 1952. (fn. 73) The living, at first a perpetual curacy and from 1868 a vicarage, remained in the alternate gift of the Crown and the Bishop of Lichfield (fn. 74) until the union of the benefice with that of St. John the Evangelist, Hanley, in 1941. Designed in the Romanesque style by Henry Ward and Son of Hanley, (fn. 75) the church consisted of nave, aisles, chancel, west gallery, and west tower. (fn. 76) The vicarage house was in Lichfield Street. (fn. 77)
The Church Mission Room in Paddock Street was opened from Holy Trinity c. 1888. It was replaced in 1897 by the present St. Chad's Mission Chapel, a brick building also in Paddock Street. (fn. 78)
A new parish covering the Northwood district was formed out of Stoke parish in 1845. (fn. 79) The church of HOLY TRINITY in Lower Mayer Street was built in 1848–9 on land given by Charles Smith of Elmhurst Hall near Lichfield. (fn. 80) The living, at first a perpetual curacy and from 1868 a vicarage, has remained in the alternate gift of the Crown and the Bishop of Lichfield. (fn. 81) The church, designed by J. Trubshaw, (fn. 82) is built of stone in the Early English style and consists of an aisled nave, a chancel, and a north-west porch surmounted by a tower with a stone broach spire. Seriously damaged by fire in February 1949, it was then restored and reopened in 1950. (fn. 83) The vicarage house, formerly at the west end of Cardwell Street, (fn. 84) has recently been moved to Cromer Road; the old house is now the Hollybush Inn.
The following mission centres have been opened from Holy Trinity, Northwood: Far Green Mission Room c. 1876–c. 1887; (fn. 85) the Iron Room, Queen's Road, c. 1891–c. 1913; (fn. 86) Peel Street Mission Room c. 1894, replaced c. 1908 by a brick chapel in the same street (now Perceval Street) which was closed c. 1946; (fn. 87) Butler Street Mission Room; and St. Matthew's, Birches Head.
The Butler Street Room was opened in 1896 for the 3,000 Welsh in Hanley Borough and had its own chaplain. It was replaced in 1899 by St. David's Chapel at the junction of Town Road and Broom Street. This had been sold by 1921 after the dispersal of the congregation. (fn. 88)
The mission chapel of ST. MATTHEW was an iron building in Leonard Road (now Birches Head Road) and was dedicated in 1899. (fn. 89) It was pronounced beyond repair in 1930, but plans for a new church were delayed by the Second World War and by the problem of mining subsidence on the proposed site. (fn. 90) The old church was demolished in 1956 to make way for the present church built in 1958–9; services in the meantime were held in the church hall in Addison Street. (fn. 91) In 1954 the area served by St. Matthew's was made an ecclesiastical district. (fn. 92) The new church, designed by W. H. Homer of Jennings, Homer and Lynch of Brierley Hill, (fn. 93) is built of stone and yellow brick in a contemporary style. On the north side a Lady Chapel forms a short aisle and there is a small tower containing a bell. There are continuous clerestory windows, diagonally set windows lighting the chancel, and a wide covered approach on the south side. The vicarage house is opposite.
A new parish covering the Wellington district was formed out of Stoke parish in 1845 (fn. 94) and services were held in a temporary church in Gate Street from 1848. (fn. 95) The church of ST. LUKE was built in 1853–4 by subscription and grants from various church building societies. (fn. 96) The living, at first a perpetual curacy and from 1868 a vicarage, has remained in the alternate gift of the Crown and the Bishop of Lichfield. (fn. 97) The stone church in the Gothic style, consisting of nave, north aisle, south transept, chancel, west gallery, and west turret, was designed by Henry Ward and Son of Hanley. (fn. 98) The first parsonage house was built in Lichfield Street in 1858 but was sold in 1935 when the present house near the church was bought. (fn. 99) Extensive restoration of the church was carried out in 1948–51. (fn. 100)
The following mission centres have been opened from St. Luke's: Joiner's Square Mission Room c. 1870, the predecessor of the present parish church of All Saints, Leek Road; Oldham Street Schools c. 1908, transferred to All Saints district c. 1911 and closed c. 1928; (fn. 101) and the mission chapel of St. Michael and All Angels. This is a brick building in Bucknall Road opened c. 1912. It was closed in 1946 despite the refusal of many of the congregation to acquiesce and attend St. Luke's. (fn. 102) The building is now (1959) occupied as a physical training centre.
A mission room was established at Joiner's Square in the parish of St. Luke, Wellington, c. 1870 (fn. 103) and replaced by All Saints Mission Chapel in Leek Road in 1890. (fn. 104) A mission district was assigned to it c. 1906. (fn. 105) A Sunday-school hall nearby was licensed for divine service in 1911 pending the completion of the church of ALL SAINTS on an adjoining site. (fn. 106) This church, begun in 1911, was completed in 1913, (fn. 107) and a new parish of All Saints was created in the same year out of the parishes of St. Luke, Wellington, and St. Jude, Shelton. (fn. 108) The vicarage has remained in the gift of the Bishop of Lichfield. (fn. 109) The church was designed by Gerald Horsley (fn. 110) in a Gothic style and is built of brick with stone dressings. It consists of clerestoried nave, north aisle, and chancel flanked by an organ chamber and a side chapel; there is an open-air pulpit, now (1960) dilapidated, at the west end. Structural provision was made for a south aisle but this addition was not carried out. The vicarage house is nearby in Leek Road.
The Sunday-school hall continued to be used as a mission room until c. 1945. (fn. 111)
The church of ST. JUDE in Beresford Road, Shelton, was opened as a mission chapel in Stoke parish. It was built to the designs of R. Scrivener and Sons, Hanley, in 1879–80 and enlarged by the addition of aisles in 1883 and 1885. (fn. 112) A new parish of St. Jude was created in 1895, and an endowment of £300 was granted out of the funds of Stoke rectory, with a further £30 a year in 1897. (fn. 113) A site for a new church and parsonage house in Victoria Road (now College Road) between Beresford and Seaford Streets was bought in 1897, (fn. 114) and the present church of St. Jude was built in 1899–1901. (fn. 115) The cost was met by grants from the Incorporated Church Building Society and the Diocesan Church Extension Society and by subscriptions. (fn. 116) The vicarage has remained in the gift of the Bishop of Lichfield. (fn. 117) The church, a building of brick with stone dressings designed in the Gothic style by R. Scrivener and Sons, consists of a nave, wide-aisled and clerestoried, with vestibules and a vestry across its west end, and a baptistery at the west end of the south aisle. The chancel is flanked by an organ chamber and a side chapel. Externally there are two west turrets, one of which contains a bell. The former mission church has been used as Shelton Repertory Theatre since the 1930's. (fn. 118)