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The Parish of Whittle-le-Woods
in the County of
-- Lancashire --

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St. John the Evangelist (© Roy Finch 2000)
St. John the Evangelist (© Roy Finch 2000)

Whittle-le-Woods is a village in the borough of Chorley, Lancashire and lies on the A6, about three miles north of the town of Chorley, and to the south of the city of Preston. Whittle le Woods as a township in parish of Leyland, which is in the diocese of Blackburn.

Victoria County History

Church of St. John the Evangelist - - II Church, 1880-2 by Myres Veevers and Myres of Preston, on site of chapel of 1830. Tooled stone rock-faced tower, 2-span slate roofs with gable copings bearing crosses. Nave with south aisle, north transept and chancel with 3-sided apse; battlemented tower in north-east corner of transept and chancel. Early English style, steeply pitched roofs, moulded string courses, gableted buttresses; most windows are coupled lancets which have hoodmoulds with figured stops. Three-stage tower has angle buttresses, a 2-storey stair turret projecting on east side (with a foliated cap); an arched north doorway of 3 orders incorporating shafts with foliated capitals; 3-light louvred belfry windows, gargoyles, embattled parapet with panels of blind quatrefoils, and crocketedpinnacles with finials. The adjoining transept has angle buttresses and a gableted doorway with a moulded arch and foliated shafts. Nave (north wall) of 3 bays with buttresses, bracketed eaves, coupled lancet windows; there is a basement entrance below. Aisle (south wall) is 5 bays with similar buttresses and windows; to 2nd bay a large gabled porch, timber-framed in Jacobean style, on a high stone plinth, entered through a wide opening on the east side, the inner moulded arched doorway containing double doors. West end of 2 unequal gables; west window of nave has 5 stepped lights with cusped heads, the lights having hoodmoulds with foliated stops; both gables have a plate- traceried rose above the window. At east end of aisle is an organ-house in matching style. Chancel has prominent buttresses and three 2-light windows with quatrefoils in the heads. Interior: conjunction of nave with large aisle succeeds in creating a broad internal space: 5-bay south arcade of plain columns with heavily foliated capitals (all different) and matching respond at west end supporting moulded 2-centred arches; similar 2-bay arcade to north transept; rounded chancel arch has good Perpendicular-style screen (1905), with coved canopy and elaborate carving. At west end, memorial window (1899) to Thomas Richard Crosse includes portrait of its subject in military uniform at top of northernmost light: Crosse family of Shaw Hill (q.v.) were principal benefactors of Church. (Source: Victorian History of Lancashire)


Recorded as 'Witul' around 1160 meaning 'a white hill' with 'le-woods' being added at a later date subsequently meaning 'A white hill in the woods'. This parish is divided into two areas, the older part on the old coach road running through Waterhouse Green to Brindle, and the more modern part on the A6 road where the church of St John is situated. In the north east of the parish is St Chad's RC Church, and off the A6 is Shaw Hill Hotel, Golf and Country Club centred around a Georgian mansion. Another feature of the parish are the canals, although partly filled in to create pleasant footpaths and open space, one still possesses seven locks, all within a half-mile stretch of water.

St. John the Evangelist was founded in 1830 and rebuilt in 1880; it is a grade II listed historical able to seat some 500 people. The story about why the parish church was built first at Leyland instead of Whittle le Woods as originally expected is on the Leyland page.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a notable landmark in Whittle-le-Woods, both for its striking appearance and for the fact it is the largest Mormon temple in the U.K..

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