Saturday, 5 September 2015

Salford Stowell Memorial Church

Stowell Memorial Church

The Reverend Canon Hugh Stowell's career in Salford began when he became curate of St. Stephen's, the second oldest church in the city. During his curacy, he became hugely popular as a devoted minister and energetic preacher. In order to retain his services, the parishioners raised a large sum of money to build a church for him, which became Christ Church in Acton Square. Stowell remained at Christ Church from its consecration in 1831 until his death on 8 October 1865. He was buried in the church's graveyard.

Stowell Memorial Church, located on Eccles New Road, was built by public subscription after Stowell's death to honour his life and work. The foundation stone of the church was laid on 19th October 1867, and the church was consecrated by the Bishop of Manchester, James Prince Lee, on 14 May 1869.  James Medland Taylor (1834 -1909) was the architect, and the cost of construction was £8,000.

From: The Architect v.9 (11 January 1873)

  • Stowell Memorial Church, Salford—A reredos, from the design of Mr. John Lowe, Architect, Manchester, has recently been erected in this church. It is of varied stone, enriched with marble, and extends the whole width of the chancel. The lower portion is of Darley Dale Stone, and the upper of Caen. This upper portion consists of five gabletted panels, the three central being so combined as to form a centre-piece. The panel-shafts are of red granite, relieving the white Caen and supporting pointed arches, having also carved caps. In the centre of each panel is a raised field with carved emblems (eg. wheat, vine, passion-flower, &c.), and bearing appropriate inscriptions. The tympanum of each gable is a diapered surface of Styperson stone, in the centre of which is a circular panel of Caen stone enriched with various coloured marbles. Crocketted pinnacles separate the gables (which are also crocketted), and all terminate in curved finials. The whole is the gift of a lady in memory of two friends of the late Canon Stowell. The builders were Messrs. Ellis & Hinchcliffe, Manchester. 

  • Stowell Memorial Church Schools, Salford.—The above schools were formally opened on the 2nd inst. by the bishop of the diocese. They form the concluding part of the scheme designed as a memorial of the late Canon Stowell. They are situated near Regent Road, and are bounded on all sides by streets. The site contains 2,420 square yards, of which about two-thirds are devoted to playgrounds. There are two school-rooms, one being 60 feet by 30 feet; and the other 59 feet by 20 feet. In connection with the latter is a class-room, 18 feet by 20 feet. The roofs are of high pitch, and open to the collar-beams. A caretaker’s house is also provided. The building is of a plain but substantial character, faced with white headers, and having stone and stock-brick dressings. They have been erected in accordance with the requirements of the Education Department. Accommodation is provided for about 400 children, who will be taught in mixed classes. The total cost, exclusive of site (which has been given) is about £2,290. The builder is Mr. Geo. Napier, Hulme, and the architect, Mr. John Lowe, Manchester, 

  • Stowell Memorial Church, Salford. A stained glass window has been placed in the chancel of this church. It was designed by Mr. F. Holt, of Warwick, and executed by Mr. J. Kirkley of Salford. (The British Architect & Northern Engineer v. 10 1878). Another stained glass window commemorated the fallen of World War I.  Stowell Sunday School also had a war memorial.

click on images to enlarge


Stowell Memorial Church closed in 1981, and was demolished two years later. The spire was left as a cenotaph for a bygone community, one that had once celebrated its rites of passage there. Standing to a height of 149.93 feet, the spire is employed as a telephone mast!


Rev. Hugh Stowell
engraved by D. J. Pound

Hugh Stowell: a life and its lessons

Memoirs of the Life and Labours of the Rev. Hugh Stowell

Rev. Hugh Selwyn Taggart was born 21 March 1874; son of Rev. Canon Thomas Arthur Taggart of Douglas, Isle of Man, He became vicar of Stowell Memorial in 1904, after leaving St. Bartholomew, Salford. He died in 1956. 

James Medland Taylor, architect of Stowell Memorial

1 comment:

  1. My beautiful spiritual home every Saturday and Sunday in my beloved church as a child . Shame the council had no decency to have kept this beautiful church untouched! Part of Salford history gone!