Richard Knill Freeman

Bolton architect

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St Margaret, Hollinwood, Oldham

Built 1877-80; listed Grade II; in use as church

A church was consecrated on the site in 1769, and a tower added in 1814. By the 1870s, the population of Hollinwood had risen to over 8000 and the church was too small. In addition, the building was damp and had dry rot and so it was decided that a new church was needed. In 1877 a building committee issued their requirements. Due to costs being greater than the £6000 specified in the particulars, it was decided not to proceed with the proposed tower. The church was consecrated in September 1879. Two windows from the original church were incorporated in the west wall of the new church.

In December 1904, it was decided to complete the tower. This was six months after Knill Freeman’s death, but it is likely that the work was completed in accordance with his plans.

Pevsner was not impressed: “By R. Knill Freeman, 1880, replacing a church of 1766-9. Rather charmless, of narrow coursed rubble with large Dec windows to the transepts and W end. Lancets to the aisles and large two-light clerestory windows. The best feature is the fine NW tower with triple bell-openings at the top, and that is of 1906.”

Freeman also designed the adjoining vicarage.


Pevsner; Lancashire: Manchester and the South-East, 2004

Dainty, Barry; The Parish church of Saint Margaret of Antioch, A short history 1769 to 1996; 1996


St Margaret’s web site