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Places of Worship

The Parish Church of St. Bartholomew

"Old Church", Great Harwood



This is, at least, the third church on the site. Documentary evidence of its existence begins in 1335 but its history possibly goes back another 100 years or more.
A fire in the 15th century left only the tower standing but the nave was rebuilt in the 16th century. The heavy, oak beamed ceiling appears too finely worked to have been meant for what was then a country church.
Parish Registers start in 1547.

"Old Church", Great Harwood, modern photo
Photo Frank Cottier

The photograph above was taken before 1881 when
the nave was lengthened and the chancel added.


The porch has stone seats, oak beams and a fine, old, heavy, nail-studded door.


Very much the same building but with the extension and additional street furniture.

"Old Church" Great Harwood" across the grave yard
View from the north across the landscaped graveyard.

Photo of old vicarage, Great Harwood






This house was built in 1789 for the curate of Great Harwood but the building and land was sold to the Cooperative Society after a new vicarage was built in 1902.

Butts Chapel, Delph Road, Great Harwood

Butts Chapel

John Mercer built four houses in Delphi Road with this chapel above. The congregation had to climb two flights of steps from Delph Road before another access was made from Commercial Road which required them to climb only one flight.
During its existence this little chapel hosted :
1822 The Wesleyan Society.
1854 United Free Methodists.
1873 Working Men's Club and Weavers' Union.
1881 St. John's Mission Church of England followed by the Gospel Mission then the Spiritualist Church.
1960 The Salvation Army.
It has now been demolished.

Drawing of original Congregational Church, Great Harwood"


Congregational Church


The first meeting place for Congregationalists was a room above a shop in Queen St. By 1837 this church had been built with open spaces for use by the Sunday School until the school was built behind the church in 1856.

The Sunday School became a full time school in 1866 then removed to Barnmeadow Lane in 1879.

Photo of original Congregational Church, Queen St, Great Harwood

Congregational Church after demolition



Seemingly run down, this photograph may have been taken not long before the building was demolished and a new church (below) built in 1888.




New Congregational Church, Great Harwood


The church was taken over by E. T. Birtwistle and Sons Ltd., Funeral Directors and only a small part of the building remained.

Congregational Church site in 2010




Further development meant the last piece of the church was taken for retail units.

Wesleyan Chapel, Commercial Rd, Great Harwood


Wesleyan Chapel


A split in the Wesleyan Society had left one section homeless and in 1853 they built the Methodist Chapel on Commercial Road.

Orchard St. Primitive Methodist Church, Great Harwood



Orchard Street Church

The Primitive Methodists built their first church in Mercer Street in 1865 called Jubilee Chapel. Then in 1898 they built a school in Orchard Street. The congregation moved to the school from the Mercer Street chapel which became a social club before being demolished.

Our Lady and St. Hubert's Roman Catholic Church

St Huberts Rd. Great Harwood

St Hubert's steeple against sunrise
Image from Peter Eddleston

St Hubert RC Church, Great Harwood


St. Hubert's Road frames the church against the East Lancashire hills.

Built at his own expense by Mr James Lomax, Lord of the Manor, in 1859.

Mount Zion Methodist Church, Cattle Strre
The School is on the corner of Cattle St and Bridge St, the chapel is next to the weaving shed on the left.



Mount Zion

Butts Chapel eventually became too small for the Free Methodist congregation and a new chapel and school were built on Cattle Street. Offially opened in 1865 it closed after 90 years and was demolished in 1960s.


Russel Place Methodist Church, Great Harwood


Central Methodist Church, King Street

The Methodist Chapel in Commercial Road became too small so on land bought just up the hill at Russell Place a new church and school were built in 1885.

Russel Place aka Central Methodist

King St entrance





The church became too expensive to maintain, was demolished, and space within the school on King Street was converted.



The ACME Youth Club met here.

St Johns Iron Church, Great Harwood


St. John's, Church of England


As the population continued to grow a new Anglican church was needed.
St. John's Mission, based at Butts Chapel, first built a school in 1889 then St. John's "Iron Church", St. Hubert's Road, was opened 1st April 1899.
Constructed from corrugated iron this building served the church until the new stone building was consecrated in 1912.

St Johns, St Huberts Rd

St Johns church, Great Harwood
The doorway shown is to the Vestry and is where we choristers entered.





This was my church. I was a choir boy here which some people find difficult to believe. It was a "nice" church.


partially demolished St Johns
Photo from Paul Wilkinson






Three years short of 100 and the foundations at the eastern end were found to be too expensive to repair and work began on dismantling the church.

Baptist Chapel, Charles Street, Great Harwood



James Barlow Memorial School Chapel


9th September 1903 and the Baptists moved from the house in School Street where they had held meetings to their new home in Charles Street.
The chapel was demolished in 1969 and the land is now a small park.

Windsor Rd Wesleyan Chapel


Windsor Road Wesleyan Chapel

Formed as a daughter church of Mount Zion in 1903 the building was taken over by OXO who built a boiler house on the site.

Eventually the Mount Zion and Windsor Road congregations joined with the Russell Place Methodists who had demolished their church and moved into the refurbished school.

St Wulstans Tin Church, Rushton Street


St. Wulstan's R. C. Church

Also in 1912, to cater for the increasing R. C. population, St. Wulstan's temporary, corrugated iron "Tin Church" was opened on Rushton St.


St Wulstans, Great Harwood






The "temporary" structure was replace in 1936 by the present church.

These were the churches in 1951
list of Great Harwood churches in 1951

United Reformed Church, Great Harwood




United Reformed Church
Barnmeadow Lane

Originally built as the British School in 1879 much of it was destroyed by fire in 1973.

Red brick mosque, Great Harwood



Madrasah Islamiyah Mosque

As church attendance have fallen (and I'm in no position to criticise) this building has been given a new lease of life. Immigrants from the Indian subcontinent who came to work in the cotton mills converted the Emmanuel Free Church of England, Segar Street into their Mosque.

Pentecostal Police Station



Pentecostal Church

A church with cells (so I'm told) . Originally this was the Police Station, Police Street but not only has it changed use it's changed address now it's in Townhall Street.

Spiritualist Church, Great Harwood




Spiritualist Church
Clayton Street.

St Edmund St mosque





Jamia Ghousia Masjid

A nice mixing of religions here.

This mosque is on the corner of Park Street and St. Edmund Street.


Map of Places of Worship


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Last updated 17th April 2020 by ifinwig
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