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The Rectory, Prestwich

Description: The Rectory

Grade: II
Date Listed: 21 February 2012
English Heritage Building ID: 1405179

OS Grid Reference: SD8117303716
OS Grid Coordinates: 381174, 403714
Latitude/Longitude: 53.5297, -2.2855

Location: 32 Church Lane, Prestwich M25 1ED

Locality: Prestwich
County: Bury
Country: England
Postcode: M25 1ED

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Listing Text


Rectory, 1923, by Taylor & Young of Manchester, Neo-Georgian and Arts & Crafts influences.

Reason for Listing

The Rectory, Church Lane, constructed in 1923 to serve St Mary's Church (C14 with later alterations, Grade I) and built to the designs of the Manchester architects, Taylor & Young, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Architectural interest: It has a distinctive and largely unaltered design incorporating Neo-Georgian and Arts & Crafts detailing that displays a restrained elegance and is enhanced by its half-butterfly plan, which maximises views over the gardens and to the neighbouring church
* Design quality: Its use of round-arched doorways, symmetrically placed obelisk chimneys, and concrete roofs provides an inventive composition and is reminiscent of the work of Wood & Sellers
* Interior survival: The simple but good quality interior retains many original features, including panelled doors, coved ceilings, floorings, some stone fireplaces, a barrel-vaulted ceiling to the main bedroom, and a virtually unaltered servants' wing
* Group value: It has strong group value with the neighbouring Grade I listed St Mary's Church and the Grade II listed Church Inn and no.38 Church Lane


The Rectory, Church Lane, was constructed in 1923 to the designs of the Manchester architects, Isaac Taylor & W. Cecil Young. It was built to serve St Mary's Church (C14 with later alterations, Grade I) and replaced a nearby Victorian rectory, which had itself replaced the church's ancient rectory in 1837. Prior to the present rectory's construction, what is now its garden was used as a bowling green for the Church Inn, which is located opposite on Church Lane. In 1968 some internal alterations were carried out to the rectory, including the sealing-off of the servants' quarters.

Isaac Taylor was the son of James Medland Taylor who with his brother, Henry, had established a well-known and successful firm of Manchester architects in the late-C19/early-C20. After Henry's early retirement Isaac took his uncle's place as partner and then worked regionally in partnership with W. Cecil Young after his father's death in 1909.


MATERIALS: brown brick with red brick and stone dressings, pitched slate and flat concrete roofs, brick obelisk chimneys.

PLAN: Double-depth V-shaped (half-butterfly) plan with front ranges clasped by deeper rear ranges. The north front and rear ranges are formed principally of the servants' quarters, and the west front and rear ranges contain the principal rooms. The internal layout is arranged around the diagonal axis of the central entrance hall.

EXTERIOR: Multi-paned sash and casement windows to all elevations with thick glazing bars and quoined red brick dressings that continue up the full-height of the building; internal secondary glazing was added in 2010. The ground-floor windows have segmental-arched heads (those to the front and garden elevations have ashlar keystones), whilst those to the first floor have square heads. The rear ranges have pitched slate roofs, whilst the front ranges, including a two-storey entrance bay set within the angle, have flat concrete roofs. The flat roofs are interspersed by two lower mono-pitch roofs. The end bays of the front ranges and the first floor of the entrance bay are semi-octagonal. Five tall brick stacks, three to gable walls and two rising behind the entrance bay; two of the gable stacks have been slightly truncated. FRONT (NORTH-WEST) ELEVATION: Five bays. Wide, round-headed and archivolted doorway to the central entrance bay containing panelled double-doors with leaded glazing to the upper panels, small ashlar datestone above with 'AD 1923' in stylised lettering and small, carved patee crosses to each corner. The first-floor window above has an ashlar keystone. Ground-floor windows to single-storey bays 2 & 4 with mono-pitch roofs, windows to both floors in bays 1 & 5. NORTH ELEVATION: Composed of the semi-octagonal end return of the front north range with windows on each floor. Attached at a 45 degree angle to the northern end of the building is a short section of high brick wall containing a secondary arched doorway (originally the servants' entrance) with a plank and batten door that provides access into a small yard and the service (kitchen) areas. Attached to this is an original single-storey garage with a flat concrete roof, replaced door and series of multipaned casement windows to each side; one of which to the north-east side has been blocked-up. Contained within the service yard is the north gable wall of the rear north range, which has an arched doorway to the ground floor flanked by small leaded-light windows. WEST ELEVATION: Comprises the semi-octagonal end return of the front west range, which has a doorway on the ground floor with a segmental-arched head and partly-glazed, panelled door and overlight, and a window to the first floor. The doorway originally led into a domestic chapel, which is now used as an office. To the right is the gable wall of the rear west range, which has paired windows to both floors. SOUTH (GARDEN) ELEVATION: Five bays set upon a raised terrace with tall windows to the ground floor; the two outer bays retain their original French windows accessed by stone steps, but the centre bay's French windows (also accessed by steps) have been replaced by a sash window in the same style as those to the rest of the elevation. The windows to the outer bays of the first floor are tripartite. EAST ELEVATION: Formed principally of the servants' quarters, although the main dining room is located on the ground floor of the left gabled bay (east gable wall of the rear west range) with the main bedroom above. The windows to the servants' quarters are plainer and of varying size, and to the left of centre on the first floor is a large stair window. To the far right of the ground floor is a doorway into the service (kitchen) areas and below left is external access into the basement, which lies underneath the service areas.

INTERIOR: Original parquet floors survive to the ground floor of the principal rooms, quarry tiled floors to the kitchen areas, and floorboards to the first floor. Original three-panel doors and simple door architraves survive throughout and most of the principal rooms and spaces to both floors, including the main entrance hall and hallways have coved ceilings. The entrance hall is a large angled space with doors leading off into all areas of the ground floor, with a fireplace in the south-east wall with a stone fire surround with a gilded inscription from the Psalms, a stone hearth, and a cast-iron grate. Originally the entrance hall's walls were panelled but this was removed in the 1960s. A doorway in the west wall opens into a short corridor leading to an office and the former domestic chapel, which is plain with an inserted partition wall to the west end and no ecclesiastical features, although it is not believed that any existed when the rectory was first built. The central garden-facing room has a mid-late C20 fire surround and gas fire, and original double-doors in the east wall lead into the dining room, which is set to the south-east corner of the building and has a part-painted, stone fire surround and hearth with a later insert. The service areas retain their separate rooms, including a large kitchen, pantry and toilet. The main dog-leg stair lies off to the east side of the entrance hall and has stick balusters and a galleried first-floor landing with two arched openings. A doorway off the right side of the landing, which originally led to the servants' quarters, has been blocked-up and two small domed skylights lighting the west wing's first floor hallway ceiling have also been blocked-up or removed. The fireplaces to the principal bedrooms have been removed but some chimneybreasts survive, and one of the rooms has been partitioned into two. The principal bedroom lies to the south-east corner and has a barrel-vaulted ceiling (now mainly hidden by a suspended ceiling) and later fitted wardrobes placed in front of the east window. A bathroom above the main entrance retains its original wall tiling. SERVANTS' QUARTERS: Door access on each floor level has been sealed up and the only access is now through a small hatch in the north wall of the entrance hall, which leads into the ground floor corridor of the servants' quarters. The servants' quarters remain unaltered and rooms to both floors retain cast-iron fireplaces. A Soanian-style stair with an angled light-tunnel above leads up to the first floor hallway, which is lit by a small, original domed skylight. One of the first floor bedrooms has arched alcoves flanking the fireplace. The bathroom is located at the northern end and retains its original suite, including toilet, bath and sink. The stone basement stair is accessed underneath the main stair and leads down into the basement, which retains some original brick shelving and a door to the outside.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: The rectory and its grounds are partly enclosed by a brick boundary wall of varying height with sandstone copings and sandstone gate piers set to the north corner of the site with pyramidal caps and metal gates. Further square, brick gate piers with sandstone caps and plain metal gate are set to the centre of the north-west wall in line with the main entrance.

To the south side of the rectory is a large garden terrace of brick with sandstone copings and a replaced tarmac floor. The front (south) wall has raised brick detailing and two blind roundels with raised brick surrounds. Corner flights of steps are set to each end. The altered former bowling pavilion (now a garden store) to the west of the terrace is not of special interest.

Source: English Heritage

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.