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Bromborough's Lost Church

The ancient church of Bromborough was granted to the monks of St Werburghs of Chester in 1152
was pulled down some 676 years later in 1828.  Fortunately several descriptions of the internal and
external of the church were recorded.  The church i 1816 was still very small, the body and chancel
would have entered by semi circular doorways, and the North isle which was separated by four
pointed arches.   The main body of the church was deprecated from the chancel by a semi circular
arch.  The doorway of the chancel was also within a semi circular archway, which displaced chevron
mouldings that had originally been resting on pillars with fluted capitals.  The description given and
to date as it is now destroyed.  For some unknown reason the church fell into an unrepairable state,
so much so that it had to be demolished.  We do not know if the church fell into disrepair or if it was
a case of wanted destruction and vandalism.  When the church was pulled down in 1828 an entirely
new building as erected by the Reverend James Mainwaring at his own expense.  

The 2nd church was created from the salvaged building materials of the old dilapidated previous
church and by wood stripped from a near by barn.   The church served for a few generations, but as
the church became more popular, and attracted more wealthy practitioners wit was decided that the
building should be made from a material more suited to the local district.  During the demolition of
the second church a number of highly crafted stones of great antiquity were discovered which were
found by the Reverend James Mainwaring.  Of these stones one in particular generated great
interest.  It was a large cross on the base of a slab with runic character engraved upon it.  
Researchers believe that the engravings date back to 7th or 8th century.  Amongst the other finds
were rocks finely carved and braided with rope patterns and a Saxon cross and traverse arm.  
These find certainly show the great importance placed on the church in the early part of its life which
we know little about

When the third church was erected in 1864 and dedicated to Saint Barnabas, was placed just South
of the site of the old church.  The reason being that they new church had been granted an
additional acre of land by the Lord of the Manor.  The church was under the design of Sir G. Gilbert
Scott R.A and is considered one of the finest and most beautiful works ever carried out by the
prominent architect.  The church consists of a square tower and spire, with projecting spire lights,
surmounted by a very lofty vane, nave, side isles, choir and chancel.  The choir section is divided in
half from the nave by a extremely elegant and beautifully design archway.   On either side sit two
small chapels which are frequently used as an organ chamber and vestry.  The chancel followed it
original Saxon design and is semi circular in design.  Three single light windows allow light to pour in
over the chaste floral carvings.  The pulpit is made from solid oak with handsomely carved panels in
each face, and supported on 8 marble columns.  The organ in the church was a gift dedicated by
James Rankin.  The east window of the church is a fine rich coloured glass depicting the crucifixion of
Jesus Christ.  The remaining windows all of stained glass show many people including Ethelstan the
victor at Brunanburh, Kind Edward I, Gilbert Scott the architect, Queen Victoria, Reverend Dyer
Green, S.K Mainwaring Lord of the manor, Bishop Graham of Chester,   several Archangels and Saint
Barnabas the apostle.  The windows ensure that everybody who was associated with creating and
maintaining the church were not forgotten.  The window dedicated to St Barnabas bears the
following inscription:

In affectionate memory of Robert Rankin Esq, merchant of Liverpool, who died at Bromborough Hall,
June Third MDCCCLXX, and of Ann, who died at Bournemouth MDCCCLXXV.  Both lie in the
churchyard adjoining.  This window was erected by their son, James Rankin Esq, of Bryngwyn,
county Hereford.  

The church has a set of 8 finely crafted bells created by Taylor of Lough borough and presented to
the church by Charles Bamford of Brookhurst.  Each of the bells bears an inscription from the rectors
pen.  At the Jubilee of Queen Victoria a fine clock was installed into the church by Mr Rogers a
wealthy merchant of Liverpool.
Additional photographs of St Barnabas:
The plaque fitted to the cross
The ancient Saxon Cross in the gardens
The spectacular grave of the Reverand James Mainwaring,
The ancient Saxon Cross in the gardens
The plaque fitted to the cross
The spectacular grave of the Reverend James Mainwairing