St. Elisabeth's Church


Local mill-owner Sir William Houldsworth commissioned Alfred Waterhouse in the 1870s. Construction took place between 1881 and 1883, paid for entirely by Houldsworth,[1] with consecration in 1883. The church was named after Houldsworth's wife.[2] Described by Pevsner as "a superb job, big-boned, with nothing mean outside or in",[1] the church is of Openshaw brick with Wrexham stone dressings. An almost separate belltower contains eight bells cast by Taylor.[3]
Pillars supporting the nave's roof were transported from the nearby canal to the site on the backs of elephants from Belle Vue Zoo.[2][3] There is a marble screen with four figures on top, possibly the four evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

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