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St Hilda's

A brief History of St Hilda's Church.

The first church at Rooden Lane was built in 1887 as an ‘Iron Church’ adjoining the school, which had been built on infant street in 1840, and later extended and expanded to its present location. A previous school at the Station Lodge entrance to Heaton Park had been merged into the National School in Prestwich in 1817. The Lodge was eventually demolished & replaced when the railway cut through the park.

Reading room on Infant Street
[thanks to Martin Harper]

A book case in St Hilda's School bears the inscription "This Bookcase was presented to this Institution by James Chadwick Esq., High Bank, Prestwich" and goes on to record "This Reading Room was built and the School enlarged at the joint expense of the Rev. Canon Birch, B.D. Rector of Prestwich and James Chadwick of High Bank, 1871."

The development of Rooden Lane, Heaton Park

St Hilda's Iron Church opened in 1887

St Hilda's Font

An old Font that had been removed from the Church of St Mary in 1854, was re-cut and consecrated in St Hilda's Iron Church ~1887, and now resides in the present day Church.

Fund raising for a more permanent structure was started in 1897 and the foundation stone of the present church was laid by Canon Cleworth of Middleton in 1903. The architect engaged was Frank Oakley, then of Manchester, born in London. His first commission had been for a new church even further away, the Church of St George’s in the Pines, in Banff, Alberta (Canada). (though that church wasn't actually consecrated until June 1920).

The first phase of St Hilda's provided a chancel and three bays of the nave with aisles and cost £3,700. A further chancel, at an additional cost of £2,000 was added later.The style is based on English Perpendicular, originally of the fifteenth century.

High Altar (Reredos donated in 1916 by Edith Anderson)

The oak altar is an elaborate work by Mr. Bridgeman, of Lichfield, made to Mr Oakley's design.

On the 18th October 1904, the Church was consecrated by the Lord Bishop of Manchester. That same year, Mr. & Mrs. Hoyle of High Bank presented the pulpit and the lectern at St Hilda's Church. Attached to the North side of the Pulpit is a brass plaque with the following inscription:

To the Glory of God.
This Pulpit was placed in the Church of St.Hilda,
Prestwich by Richard Hoyle Esq. of High Bank,
in the year of our Lord, Nineteen Hundred and Four

The Lectern in St Hilda's bears the following inscription:

To the Glory of God.
This Lectern was given for use in the Church of St.Hilda, Prestwich
by Ada Mary Rostron Hoyle, wife of Richard Hoyle Esq. of High Bank,
in the year of our Lord, Nineteen Hundred and Four.

War Memorial

A memorial plaque in St Hilda's Church and two glazed sheets list 38 WWI fatalities.

Remembrance :

Remembrance of those that have served the Nation in conflict.

See more War memorials of Prestwich

To read a more in depth history of St Hilda's visit the Church website: St. Hilda,Parish of Prestwich

To see photos of St Hilda's visit the Church Facebook: St. Hilda,Parish of Prestwich