Richard Knill Freeman

Bolton architect

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Buildings Buildings by type Churches - new St Aidan, Bamber Bridge, Preston

St Aidan, Bamber Bridge, Preston

Built 1894-95; completed 1914-15 by Frank Freeman; not listed; in use as church


Building News,66, 23 February 1894, p.253 + plate

Thanks to Alison Leadbetter for the use of the photograph of the pews

The Building News of February 1894 reported:


This church is about to be erected. It is intended at first to spend £5,000, and to proceed with the east end transepts and first three bays of nave, leaving the west end for a future extension. The church, when complete, will consist of a wide and lofty nave with side arcades, the aisles being used as passages only – a treatment that is both convenient and effective. The transepts are of good size. The north chancel aisle is arranged as a chapel, the vestries and organ-chamber being placed on the south side of the chancel. The chancel is large, of good proportions, and is well raised above the nave. The roofs will all have internal wagon-shaped ceilings, boarded, and with moulded ribs. The windows are large and lofty, well raised above the floor, and will be filled with cathedral glass of varied tints, in geometrical designs. It is intended to face the exterior with Yorkshire stone parpoints, and to use red Rainhill stone for all dressed work. The roofs will be covered with North Country green slates with red ridges. Internally, the walls generally will be faced with red brick, but those in chancel will be plastered. The woodwork throughout will be of pitch-pine unvarnished. The aisle floors will be laid with small dark-red tiles, the chancel floor being similarly treated, but having encaustic tiles of ornamental design introduced. The style adopted is Late Decorated Gothic, and the building, the grouping of which has been carefully considered, will, when completed, provide accommodation for 800 people, The work is being carried out from the designs, and under the superintendence of, Mr R Knill Freeman FRIBA, of Bolton and Manchester. The design was selected by the assessor from 32 submitted in open competition.”

Pevsner describes the interior as “tall, dark, spare … of exposed brick and stone”. The design incorporates the double transepts that Freeman regularly used.

Above: The original pews

Below: the double-gabled transept, a feature often used by Freeman

Above: The church in 1902 and 1905 before completion by Frank Freeman to the original design (Thanks to Janice Proctor)