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The Church of St Mary, Ince
in the County of
-- Lancashire --

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St Mary, Ince
Founded 1887

St Mary is located at OS Grid Reference - SD 591042
The original Church of St Mary was located at OS Grid Reference - SD 593040

 
A B&W photograph of St Mary taken in 1975, Photo courtesy of Tom Sutch
A B&W photograph of St Mary taken in 1975
Photo courtesy of Tom Sutch

The church of St Mary at Ince in Makerfield was designed by the famed church architects of Paley & Austin, and was consecrated in December 1887. It was built of brick, and located in Lower Ince on the east side of Warrington Road close to the Springs Branch loco sheds and opposite the Wigan Borough and Ince cemeteries to the west of the road. Ince was in the heart of the Wigan Coalfield and at no great depth at least nine seams lay beneath the town in a sequence known as the Ince Mines Group. The seams had names such as Ince Yard Mine, Ince Deep Yard Mine, Ince Four Foot Mine, Ince Seven Foot Mine and Ince Furnace Mine. These and deeper seams were extensively worked and the area suffered from mining subsidence as the coal was removed. Like many churches in the coalfields, St Mary was damaged by the ongoing subsidence and was demolished in 1978 when repairs became too expensive.

 
A rare colour photograph of St Mary, taken in 1978 shortly before it was demolished
A rare colour photograph of St Mary
taken in 1978 shortly before it was demolished
 
The interior of the old St Mary
The interior of the old St Mary
 
The WWI memorial and font at the original St Mary
The WWI memorial and font at the original St Mary

A new St Mary’s church was then established some 250m to the north along Warrington Road, in a building dating from 1875 and originally part of the Hall of Ince Schools. The vicar in 2010 was the Revd. David Long and we thank him for giving access to registers still held at the church and for permission to publish records from earlier registers held at Wigan Archives. David Long is also a keen photographer and historian and allowed us to use photographs of the original St Mary from his collection. Anyone interested in images of Ince can do no better than visit the Ince in Makerfield pages where many of his photos can be seen.

 
The current church of St Mary
The current church of St Mary
 
The Reverend David Long
The Reverend David Long

Peter Wood
October 2010

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