Full Report for Listed Buildings

Summary Description of a Listed Buildings

Reference Number
Building Number
Date of Designation
Date of Amendment
Name of Property
St Winefride's Roman Catholic Church  


Unitary Authority
Street Side
On slopping site set back from the new road (A 5026). Presbytery to right.  


Broad Class
Religious, Ritual and Funerary  

Begun 1832 by J J Scloes, the well known architect of Roman Catholic churches; said to have been entered then from New Road - see steps at rear. Replaced the chapel opened in 1808 at Ye Olde Star PH (now Presbytery) where Catholics had long gathered under threat of suppression. In 1909 it was greatly enlarged and turned around so that the entrance was from Well Street (facing E). A lady Chapel and a Shrine to St Winefride were added in 1911-12 by James Mangen of Preston. This church is known for its associations with the controversial figure known as Baron Corvo (alias Hugh Walpole Rolfe) who moved to Holywell in 1895 and, in exchange for his keep, he painted a series of banners. Despite this Corvo later demanded payment and a well known row ensued resulting in Father Beauclerk being removed, but soon after Corvo was exposed as a fraud.  

Ashlar to earlier work, otherwise cement rendered brick; slate roof. Neo-classical front with quoins, stepped forward and pedimented to centre with crucifix finial. Blind rectangular panel over entrance with bracket cornice and panelled doors; steps with pierced parapet added in 1909. Later baptistery extension to right overlapping the corner up to the Lady Chapel. As first built it had 1+3+1-bay side elevations with parapets and plinths; tall round arch headed windows. Some of the earlier ones are small-pane and the others have marginal glazing bars. A further 3 bays, transepts and sanctuary were then added - see masonry break on left hand side. 2-window Classical 'front' to left (S facing) transept with 4-panel side door. To right the transverse Lady Chapel is set back from the front; thermal windows and polygonal end. At liturgical SE end is a low cement rendered bell-tower.  

The main part of the interior is Classical with flat ceiling and coved cornice; organ gallery over lobby. Varied stained glass to nave - window to St John Fisher is notable. The pilastered alter has been brought forward and has entombment depicted to centre. Sanctuary arch has Ionic pilasters with disproportionately large capitals and fluted inner sides. Similar arches to transepts. High up either side are plaster relief panels. Panelled dado to sanctuary and tall recess to end wall with small thermal window - glass by T M Cox. Pointed arch stained glass windows to right hand transept; left hand transept has putti to roundels on ceiling and pointed arch alter recess. Shrine of St Winefride to W of this is in Byzantine style with foilated basketwork capitals linked across splayed corner; canopy to statue of St Winefride by M Blanchart of Ghent (1881); 3-light stained glass window. The Lady Chapel at NE end is in similar (Byzantine) style with ribbed segmental arched ceiling; detached with entasis both at entrance and flanking alter. Commemorative plaque to donor - Gertrude Manners. In the former Baptistery, reached off the front lobby, are the 5 remaining colourful banners (1896-8) by Baron Corvo of major saints including St Winefride.  

Reason for designation
Listed as an especially well preserved C19 Classical church.  

Cadw : Full Report for Listed Buildings [ Records 1 of 1 ]