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Thursday, 9 October 2014

The Bidston Village Church

St Oswald's Church

St Oswald's Church, Bidston is in Bidston, an area of Birkenhead, Wirral, Merseyside, England. It is designated by English Heritage as a Grade II listed building. It is an active Anglican parish church in the diocese of Chester, the archdeaconry of Chester and the deanery of Birkenhead.

BIRKENHEAD Bidston Village Road (East side) Bidston Church of St Oswald

(Formerly listed under HOYLAKE ROAD) 29/07/50 

GV II Parish Church. Largely 1856 by W. and J.Hay but incorporating late medieval tower and with chancel and possibly north aisle added or remodelled in 1882 by W.E.Grayson. Coursed and squared rubble in large blocks, but randomly coursed in north aisle and chancel. Westmorland slate roof with ridge cresting. Nave with west tower, two aisles and chancel. Early C16 three-stage west tower with angle buttresses. Perpendicular stilted moulded arch to west door with drop ended hood-mould over. Frieze of quatrefoil panels and coats of arms over doorway. 3-light window above with ogival hoodmould continuingas string course. 3-light bell-chamber window in third stage. Embattled parapet with corbel table. 

North aisle has 2-light Decorated window in west wall, and 2 in north wall. Gabled vestry wing dated 1903 projects, possibly incorporating earlier fabric in its west wall. Paired lancet lights in north wall of short chancel, and 3-light Decorated window with hood mould carried on corbel heads to the east. Small foiled lancet in south wall, and parapet with frieze dated 1882. Gabled porch in south aisle, with chamfered archway. 

Dated 1593 with date of rebuilding, 1856. Stilted arches to 2-light Decorated windows and small side door with hoodmould over. Interior space has been divided by a new screen leaving exposed a nave of 3 bays. Cylindrical shafts to steeply arched arcade. Nave roof with shallow curved principal trusses with collar. Chancel arch carried on corbels. Sedilia in chancel dated 1882: foiled arches on foiliate corbels. Reredos by Salviati, mosaic Last Supper with wood canopy frieze over. Painted roof with angel corbels over choir, the rest boarded. North aisle has 2-light Decorated window in west wall, and 2 in north wall. (The Buildings of England: Pevsner N and Hubbard E: Cheshire: Harmondsworth:1971).

 The original church dates back to the 13th century. The tower was built in 1520. The rest of the church was rebuilt in 1855–56 by W. and J. Hay in Gothic Revivalstyle. An extension was made to the chancel in 1882 by G. E. Grayson

The church is built from coursed and squared rubble in large blocks with a roof of Westmorland slate with ridge cresting. Its plan consists of a west tower, a nave, north and south aisles with gable roofs, a south porch, and a chancel. Heraldic shields over the west door date it between 1504 and 1521. The tower is in three stages with angle buttresses and an embattled parapet

In the chancel is a sedilia dated 1882. The reredos is a mosaic depicting The Last Supper by Salviati over which is a wooden canopy frieze. The stained glass includes windows by Morris & Co., Robert Anning Bell, H. Gustave Hiller, H. Hughes, Powell and Frank O. Salisbury. The two-manual organ dating from 1929 is byHenry Willis & Sons.There is a ring of six bells by Robert Stainbank of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, five of which are dated 1868 and the other 1882. The parish registers begin in 1679 and the churchwardens' accounts in 1767

The churchyard contains four war graves, each of which represents a different service; a British Army Colonel of World War I, and a Royal Air Force officer, a Royal Navy and a Merchant Navy sailor of World War II

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