A Potted History of St Mark, Worsley 

In compiling this and other pages charting the history of St Mark, Worsley grateful acknowledgement is made to Mr H T Milliken, the author of the definitive history of the church in his book "Changing Scene" first published in 1976 

  

Copies of this book are available in Church and are commended to you 

Jan 1800 

Birth of Francis Leverson-Gower later takes the title Lord Francis Egerton 

1833 

Francis Egerton moves to Worsley as a beneficiary of Bridgewater Trust 

June 1844 

Foundation stone laid 

July 1846 

Consecration of St Mark; Lord Francis Egerton becomes 1st Earl of Ellesmere 

1852 

The addition of the north aisle, replacing a temporary north wall, to provide an extra 150 sittings (at a cost of £4,000, met by the Earl): according to the national 1851 census, the congregation at this time was over 700, including 400 children at morning and afternoon services 

Feb 1857 

Death of the Earl of Ellesmere. Began eastward extension of the Ellesmere chapel in line with the chancel east wall 

1861 

Gas installed in Ellesmere vault beneath Chapel 

1862 

Completion of extension of Ellesmere Chapel to accommodate Earl of Ellesmere's tomb, with wrought iron screen 

1864 

Inner south porch added (The south door being the main entrance at that time) 

1866 

Jet gas lighting installed throughout the church 

1873 

Introduction of a robed choir; Bell peal increased from 3 to 8 

1881 

A 3-manual organ by A. Young of Manchester was erected at the end of the south aisle in front of the Ellesmere chapel. Originally there had been a barrel organ (with a small repertoire of hymn tunes), then a small manual and pedal organ (which eventually ended up in the first Vicar’s parish in Norfolk) 

1884 

The building of the present choir and clergy vestry and organ chamber, replacing a small ‘robing room’; Lord Ellesmere had originally proposed using the chapel for this, but Scott had demurred 

1884 

Introduction of the reredos (and probably lengthening of the altar to match), the paving of chancel and sanctuary, sanctuary seating (replacing two stone seats) and choir stalls (replacing the original singers’ benches), together with the repositioning of some of the stained glass 

1887 

Screen erected at the west end of nave seating 

1890 

Replacement of plain glass in West window with stained glass 

1891 

Erection of two mosaics on either side of the east window 

1892 

Stone steps to Chancel replaced in Carrara marble 

1894 

Lectern installed 

1895 

Organ moved to a position centrally in the north side of the chancel, and general area re-ordered to provide organ chamber and vestry for clergy and choir 

1897 

Incandescent gas lighting introduced 

1899 

The west end screen moved to its present position under gallery and fitted with swinging doors, thereby freeing the west door (which until then had led into a choir vestry under the gallery) for weddings and funerals 

1902 

Installation of the wardens’ stalls 

1904 

Extensive stonework repairs carried out 

1906 

Stained glass windows "Fortitude" and "Humility" installed in Ellesmere Chapel 

1911 

7,840 sq yard extension of the churchyard to the east of the church by a gift from the 3rd Earl of Ellesmere 

1912 

Stained glass Baptismal window installed 

1913 

Installation of electric lighting and electric motor for the organ 

1918 

First three women appointed to Parish Church Council 

1922 

Memorial erected in the churchyard near to the west door, bearing the names of 105 parishioners who fell during the Great War 

1928 

Altar and rail installed in Ellesmere chapel. Wrought iron screen removed to its present position, between the chancel and chapel, replacing an oak one 

1933 

Three acres of land purchased to north of the church to preserve the fine setting of the church 

1935 

Two further bells added 

1945 

Two bronze "Winged Lions" from Worsley New Hall presented to the church, together with the famous Bridgewater clock, by 5th Earl of Ellesmere 

1946 

Centenary year 

1951

 

Start of 3 years of major work carried out on roof timbers to combat beetle infestation, followed by further 5 years of extensive repairs and renovations to stained glass, reredos and external stonework 

1952 

Organ replaced with a Compton Miniature Pipe Organ with limited powers, installed in its present location, with console in the Ellesmere chapel 

1954 

Renewal of lighting system and major internal plasterwork repairs. Present chancel roof colouring introduced 

1956 

Major remedial work carried out on spire to rectify leaning. Weather-cock re-gilded 

1971 

Internal and external cleaning carried out. Ellesmere chapel ceiling decorated to match chancel 

1972 

Addition of the brass communion rails 

1973 

Re-ordering of the "Old" portion of the churchyard to remove gravestones 

1975 

Work was done to organ to extend its depth and brilliance 

1976 

"New" portion of the churchyard levelled and grassed to aid maintenance; Wrought iron gates installed leading to the car park; Floodlighting scheme introduced 

1978 

Major treatment (again) of roof timbers following re-infestation by furniture beetle 

1997 

Parish Room built 

2003 

Building classification uplifted to Grade 1 Listed status 

2005 

Organ replaced with Alexander Young 1905 instrument