Stoke-on-Trent Local History


Fenton New Church, 1839 to 1890

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Christchurch, Fenton


Fenton New Church, 1839 to 1890


contents: index page for Christchurch, Fenton
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'Fenton New Church,' built in 1838-9
'Fenton New Church,' built in 1838-9,
showing the tower with a west entrance, and a south aisle of five bays, built in the style of Gothic revival.
© William Salt Library, Staffordshire Past Tracks



Key Facts:

  • Ralph Bourne, in his will (d.1835), left the sum of £2,500 for the building of an Anglican church for Fenton with a sum of £1,000 for its endowment, the remaining £3,000 was given by Mrs. Baker.

  • The church was designed by Henry Ward.

  • It was consecrated in 1839.

  • The first vicar was the Rev. William Sollis - s position he held for 33 years.

  • Due to subsidence caused by the mine workings from the nearby Glebe colliery, the first church was demolished and replaced by a second church in 1890.

The first church was described by John Ward, in his book, The Borough of Stoke-upon-Trent (1843):

"Fenton-Culvert has now the benefit of a church, advantageously placed, for accommodating the population of that and the sister hamlet, near the main thoroughfare, and on the branch road leading from Blurton to Trentham. 

It has been reared and endowed almost wholly by the bounty of one individual, the late Ralph Bourne, Esq., who died in November, 1835, and, by his will, placed the sum of £2,500 in the hands of Trustees (Lord Viscount Sandon, and the Rev R Bourne Baker,) for the erection of a church, and £1,000 for its endowment. 

He also gave to his nephew, John Baker, two acres of land, upon an implied trust, for the site and cemetery. The remaining cost of the erection, which exceeded £3,000, was defrayed by Mrs Baker, widow of the late Mr William Baker, and sister of Mr Bourne. 

The church is of brick, with gothic doors and windows, cased with stone. The tower is of good proportions, crowned with battlements and pinnacles of stone. The interior is 66 feet in length, by 44 in width. The windows, five on each side, are divided into two compartments each, by stone mullions. The eastern window has four compartments, bordered with stained glass, filled with figures of the four Evangelists, and scriptural sentences. The arched head contains the sacred monogram, in a glory, and enrichments of brilliant colours. There are galleries, supported by iron pillars, and the church contains upwards of 700 private and about 300 free sittings. It is furnished with a suitable organ, which, as well as the east window, was presented by Mr Bourne’s family connexions. The church has been very lately made the head of a district chapelry, embracing the principal portions of such of the two townships of Fenton, as were not annexed to the District Parish of Longton.

The Rev. W. Sollis is the incumbent, and has supplied us with the following account of Baptisms, Burials, &c., since its consecration:

1839 1840 1841
Baptisms: 71 74 78
Burials: 10 15 18
Marriages: - - 2

A school-house near the church has been also erected, by the voluntary contributions of the families of Bourne and Baker, and other friends of the Establishment, at an expense exceeding £500, towards which the Newcastle and Pottery Branch of the Diocesan School Society, gave a donation of £50.

Upwards of 400 children of both sexes are taught here on Sundays, and between 40 and 50 boys, and about 70 girls, are instructed in the week-days."



contents: index page for Christchurch, Fenton
 next - the second church - Christchurch, 1890 -


2nd Church
 1890 -


maps of the church and surrounding area