The roots of St Michael’s

St Michael’s and All Angels church is one of Ashton’s most impressive buildings. The church, on the corner of Tulketh Road and Egerton Road, is, today, particularly famous for its regular farmers’ market.

St Michael's

St Michael’s

The genesis of St Michael’s goes back to 1878, when a small school was begun in a building called the Slate House. The State house was located on the old Ashton Marsh, near to where the old dock office used to stand.

The school flourished, although it was nothing more than a single class. Soon it became evident that a larger building was needed. A house at 8 Swansea Terrace was used from 1879. This new school was called Ashton British Workman.

Such was the success of the Ashton British Workman school that, in 1883, it was decided that a dedicated school-chapel should be built. The new building cost £1,700 and was given the name St Michael’s and All Angels school-chapel.

Even this building was found to be too small. Further extensions were made in 1895-1897 but by 1900 a plot of land had been bought to build a fully fledged church. The land was not where today’s church can be found, however. The original St Michael’s was going to be built on the corner of Swansea St and Tulketh Road. Planning objections meant that another site had to be found.

In 1901 Mrs Birley, one of the original founders of that first class, donated a plot of land on Egerton Road. Her generous offer was accepted at a parish meeting on 15 April 1901. Mrs Birley laid the foundation stone of the new church.

St Michael’s and All Angels church was built in two stages. The first section of the church was consecrated in 1908 but a second section would not be completed until 1915.


A History of the Parish of St Andrew’s Ashton-on-Ribble, by Douglas B Cochrane ASAA

Posted in Churches
2 comments on “The roots of St Michael’s
  1. Laurel says:

    Hello, I am in Canada and I was wondering if anyone knows if the Ashton British Workman school mentioned in the “Roots of St. Michael’s” article was still around in 1906? Perhaps refitted as living quarters?

    I have 2 documents – my grandparent’s 1906 marriage certificate and my uncle’s 1911 birth certificate – that both show a residence address of 8 Swansea Terrace in Preston, which is the same address as the Ashton British Workman (but many years later).

    Any history would be appreciated! Thank you.

  2. Bob Cavanagh says:

    Hello, my Grandfather and his father both lived at 8 Swansea Terrace. I believe they lived there from 1879/1880 to 1889/1890. There are records on the parish clerks website showing family were living there at that time. My father told me that his grandfather, my great grandfather, used to hold bible classes in his parlour. So this ties in with the Genesis above. They were recorded as living at 7 Tulketh Road in the 1891 census which was just round the corner.

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