Chorley is about 8 miles north of Wigan and has some 100,000 residents today. For more details on the parish church of St. Laurence have a look at this excellent site:
It should be noted that a larger church was built to serve the Chorley area in 1825 and information can be obtained here:
St. Laurence's church has existed since at least 1362 although evidence indicates that a church existed before that date as the borough of Chorley existed in 1257 under the Ferrrer family with a court and 90 burgesses. Chorley is in the Hundred of Leyland and originally was a township and chapelry in the parish of Croston.
In 1362 an agreement was made between William de Huntlowe, rector of Croston and the residents of Chorley to allow a chapel to be dedicated in Chorley. The separation of Chorley and Croston continued on through the next 4 centuries until 1793 when the rector of Croston, Dr. Robert Master, obtained an Act of Parliament making Chorley a separate rectory.
The name St. Laurence appears to be based on the the gift of a relic of that Saint given to the chapel in the year 1442/3 by Sir Rowland Standish. The relic is reputed to be the bones of St. Laurence and is preserved in a glazed reliquary in the south wall of the sactuary.
St. Laurence was a deacon at the church in Rome in AD 258 and he was put to death after pesecution by Emperor Valerian. The giridon upon which he died has become the emblem of this martyr.
The church consists of a tower, nave with side aisles and a semi-transept as well as a chancel with vestry on the north and side chapel on the south. The church was started in at least 1362 but the first addition was probably added by 1400. There are large pews belonging to the Standish, Charnock and Cross families.
ONLINE PARISH CLERK PROJECT
This web page is devoted to the Online Parish Clerk Project. As time allows resources will be added to the site to allow self search. In the meantime, the links on the left will provide pages listing the location of existing resources.