Church of St Mary the Virgin, Prestwich

Manchester, United Kingdom

Church of St Mary the Virgin, Prestwich


The Church of St Mary the Virgin is on Church Lane, Prestwich, Greater Manchester, England. It is an active Anglican parish church in the deanery of Radcliffe and Prestwich, the archdeaconry of Bolton and the diocese of Manchester. The church is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade I listed building. Pevsner refers to it as "a major church".

Prestwich is not mentioned in the Domesday Book, but there is evidence of a church on the site since at least 1200. The tower was built in about 1500 by the 1st Earl of Derby, and the body of the church was rebuilt during the early part of the 16th century. In 1756 the south porch was rebuilt and the walls of the aisles were raised. The east vestry was rebuilt in 1803 and in 1860 the chancel was extended. In 1872 a new chapel, the Birch Chapel, was added to the south of the chancel and to the east of the existing south (Lever) chapel; the Lever Chapel was rebuilt two years later. In 1888–89 the Lancaster architects Paley, Austin and Paley rebuilt the north (Wilton) chapel and the chancel, and added an organ chamber and a vestry on the north side of the chancel. The north porch dates from 1895. The north and south galleries were removed in 1959.

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