St Mary the Virgin’s Church, usually known as Ellenbrook Chapel, is an active Anglican church in EllenbrookA residential suburb of Worsley in the City of Salford in Greater Manchester, England., Greater Manchester. The church is part of a team ministry with St Mark’s Church, WorsleyAn active Anglican parish church in Worsley, Greater Manchester with an unusual thirteen-striking clock. and St Andrew in Boothstown. It is in the Eccles deanery, the archdeaconry of Salford and the diocese of Manchester. The church was designated as Grade II listed building in 1966.
The church, of ancient foundation, was founded by the lords of the manor of Worsley in the late 1200s. The church was built in 1725 to replace the old chapel.
A chapel was founded by the lords of the manor of Worsley and sometime between 1272 and 1295. The Rector of Eccles, in whose parishAncient or ancient ecclesiastical parishes encompassed groups of villages and hamlets and their adjacent lands over which a clergyman had jurisdiction. the chapel stood, granted a licence to Richard de Worsley to have chantry in his chapel at Worsley. The chapel was mentioned in 1549 when Sir Richard Brereton complained of the theft of a chalice. Dame Dorothy LeghDorothy Legh (1565–1639) born Dorothy Egerton, also Dorothy Brereton, Lady of the Manor of Worsley, was a coal owner and benefactor of Ellenbrook Chapel near her home in Worsley, Lancashire. left the interest of £50 for its maintenance in 1638.
The Commonwealth surveyors recommended that Ellenbrook Chapel should have a parish assigned to it in 1650. The Bishop of Chester made an order regarding its endowment in 1677. The dissident Lord Willoughby locked out the curate in charge in about 1693 and put in a Nonconformist preacher, but was defeated by the bishop. Many of the 18th-century vicars were non-resident, and served by the curate of the parish church and the minister of Ellenbrook.
The old chapel was demolished and the new church was built in brick in 1725; a gallery was added in 1816. Restoration in the 1860s was funded by the 2nd Earl of Ellesmere, who died before its completion. The chapel’s organ, a memorial to the earl, dates from this time.
Only three people have been buried in the church grounds; one was Samuel Newton, who lived nearby and wished to be buried close to home. In 1728 the resurrectionistsThose who exhumed the bodies of the recently deceased during the 18th and 19th centuries to provide cadavers to anatomists for their research. were at work, so he was buried in a deep grave covered with heavy stones. In 1833 Captain James Bradshaw, son of Robert Haldane Bradshaw, Superintendent of the Bridgewater Trust, cut his own throat when his father did not appoint him as his successor. Bradshaw was buried outside the church grounds, but his father bought the land to extend the church grounds to include the grave.
The old chapel was replaced by the church, which was built on the same site in 1725. It is built in brick laid in Flemish bond and has a slate roof. The church was extended at the east end later in the 18th century. It has a five-bay nave Central part of a church, used by the laiety. with plain, segment-headed window openings and the small chancel has a three-lancet east window. At the west end there is a polygonal baptistry. The south aisle and bell-coteA shelter containing one or more bells. were added in the 19th century and its vestry in the 20th. The gabled porch on the north side has a Norman-style arched entrance. The studded oak door has ornamental wrought iron hinges and its frame has ovolo moulding. The nave arcade has round arches and the roof is supported by king-post trussesA timber roof truss is a structural framework of timbers designed to bridge the space above a room and to provide support for a roof. .