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Grave Slab of Mary Lancashire in Churchyard of Church of St Mary, Prestwich

Description: Grave Slab of Mary Lancashire in Churchyard of Church of St Mary

Grade: II
Date Listed: 21 February 2012
English Heritage Building ID: 1406313

OS Grid Reference: SD8112003667
OS Grid Coordinates: 381120, 403667
Latitude/Longitude: 53.5293, -2.2863

Location: 36 Church Lane, Prestwich M25 1ED

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

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Listing Text


Grave slab commemorating Mary Lancashire and family, c1672, continued use by same family in C18 & C19.

Reason for Listing

The Mary Lancashire grave slab, c1672, in St Mary's churchyard, Prestwich, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Early date: It is an increasingly rare survival of a C17 grave slab with an original inscription that remains fully legible
* Historic interest: It illustrates the extensive history of the St Mary's churchyard and the original Prestwich-cum-Oldham parish, once one of the largest and wealthiest parishes in the country
* Group value: It has group value with the Grade I listed St Mary's Church and the other listed monuments and structures in the St Mary's churchyard


St Mary's Church, Prestwich, dates to the C14 with later alterations, and the oldest extant grave marker in the churchyard dates to 1641. However, the topography of the churchyard suggests a much older burial ground. The churchyard has been extended many times, including in 1827 when boundary walls were constructed. Prior to these walls being erected the churchyard was enclosed by a ditch and hedge created in 1706, and subsequently by the planting of beech and fir trees in 1763. Further extensions of the churchyard occurred in 1864, 1886, 1924 and 1950.

The western section of the churchyard contains, amongst other graves, the unmarked burials of thousands of inmates of the County Asylum Prestwich dating from the mid-C19 to early-C20, although several communal graves for the asylum's attendants and some inmates are marked by grave slabs. In 1801 a hearse house (altered in the mid-late C20) was constructed to the north of the church.


Sandstone, rectangular grave slab with incised carving including a border. Large scroll motif containing a diamond to the foot of the slab with the initials 'J.S.' above left (possibly referring to the stonemason). Inscription in widely-spaced lettering reads 'Here resteth the Body of/ Mary The Wife of John/ Lancashire of Prestwich/ Bur March 27th 1672'. Further inscription in similarly spaced but differently styled lettering reads 'Alfo the Body of John/ Lancafhire of Bowlee/ who was Buried Sept 23rd 1711/ Alfo of Ann his Wife/ Buried October 31st 1726'. Further C18 and C19 family names added below in smaller writing and standard lettering.

Source: English Heritage

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