Pulford Church

A church has existed on the current site for many centuries with the first recorded Rector c.1214. The current building, a distinctive local landmark, was designed by John Douglas and dates from the 1880's.

Pulford Church in 1870

This article first appeared in Essentials Mag in September 2017

by Michael Nethercott

Research to locate a picture of the previous Pulford church had proved unsuccessful over many years, despite visits to local archives, libraries and enquiries of local residents, all of which had been to no avail. However, one day about six years ago, descendants of a Rector of Pulford, the Reverend James Radcliffe Lyon (Rector from 1818 to 1870) visited the U.K. from Australia and called in to Pulford churchyard to visit the grave of their ancestor. During their visit they met a past chairman of our History Group. It was from this contact to our great surprise and delight that the family from Australia had original photographs of Pulford Church and Pulford Rectory dated 1870. On their return to Australia they kindly sent copies of the photographs for our archives.

This church had accommodation for 220 adults on the ground floor (including both North and South Transepts in addition to the Nave). There was further accommodation for 50 children in a gallery. More research is required to establish the date of build, but it is understood the building underwent some restoration in 1833.

By 1881 the church building had deteriorated and the then Rector, Rev. J.R. Williams, was speaking of the roof as ‘providing extempore shower baths for the congregation’. His Grace, Hugh Lupus, the first Duke of Westminster, generously provided a new church for the people of Pulford, designed by John Douglas, a well-known Chester architect, which was completed by 1884 and which we continue to enjoy to this day.

The parishes of Pulford and Eccleston joined together to become a united benefice in 1972.

An early painting, c.1811

Gallery

Leaving Church c.1907
Handbell Ringers c.1900
Burnt Spire 1991
Church without spire
Spire reconstruction
The church with restored spire
The restored spire
The East Window