ST LUKE'S CHURCH - LIVERPOOL
(The Bombed Out Church)
"FLORID GOTHIC ARCHITECTURE"
It is built of excellent stone, and is one of the finest specimens of florid Gothic architecture in the kingdom. The extreme length from east to west is 177 feet 6 inches, and the width is 60 feet. On each side there are ten handsome lofty windows, with beautifully pointed heads, decorated with tracery, the arches of which rest on neatly sculptured corbel heads. Between the windows rise well proportioned buttresses, bearing a canopy, and terminated by an elaborately carved pinaccle. On the sides and end of the chancel the pinnacles rise not higher than the top of the parapet, and a small distance behind these rises a beautiful range of octangular pinnacles.
To the left we see the Church as it looked in 1931. The flagpole at the top of the tower is just visible.
To the right, we see the same view in 2010. The surrounding area has changed with the arrival of public telephone boxes and railings at the front of the church.
Walking down Renshaw Street, you will come across the excellent view of the towers of St Luke's and Liverpool Cathedral as if they are side by side when in reality, the size of the tower at the Cathedral dwarfs the tower of St Luke's
To the right we see the base of the tower with its intricate stonework.
We now view the ringing chamber window and clock in the picture to the left. The three sections to the tower are the ringing chamber, clock chamber and bell chamber.
To the right we see the top of the tower with the louvers of the bell chamber. The fire in 1941 took hold of the entire tower with just the bell frame left.
To the left we see an unusual shot of the rear of the Church. It looks like a small chapel until you notice that the tower is in view at the top of the picture.
To the right, we take a closer view of the altar window. You can still see some fragments of stained glass and the structure of the window itself.
To the left we see the left-hand side of the Church, showing the tower from another unusual angle.
To the right, we see the missing stained glass and the colourful stonework on a sunny day.
To the left we see the left-hand side of the Church with one of its external doors. It is amazing that despite being bombed in the war, the intricate stonework is still there.
To the right we see the classic view of the Church. Taken right at the back of the boundary wall, it doesn't need any explanation as to its beauty.
Viewing all of the windows, it is evident that 99% of the stained glass was cracked and lost in the fire. There are very few areas that show even a small section, such as the altar window. However, if you look carefully, there are a few windows still fully intact. The picture to the left shows an intact window that would be far better viewed on the inside. However, the picture on the right is the only surviving piece of stained glass still in situ. The colours on the stained glass are fantastic and this window should have more protection from the elements.
Both of these faces are on opposite sides of the side door seen in the pictures again.
There is little wear on the face in the left of the picture but more wear in the face to the picture on the right despite them being only a few feet apart.
To the left is the 'lost gallery' at the rear of the Church. This was completely destroyed in the fire.
Also to note are the large wooden doors either side of the gallery.
To the right is all that's left of the interior now.
The picture on the left dates again from 1931 and shows the pews and wooden boarding around the side of the Church.
The painting on the right shows the Church and stained glass in colour.
Both pictures show the only remaining fragments of the altar window. The colours are amazing and offer a glimpse in to what the full window would have looked like.
While we are very grateful for the black and white pictures of the interior, our search will still continue for a full colour picture of the altar window.
Contact us should you know of any in existence!
To the left we see the classic view of the Church. This was taken from a privately owned postcard.
We do not see Liverpool Cathedral in the background as it had not been built, instead we see the top of St Mark's Upper Duke St.
To the right, we see the same view in 2010. Now we see Liverpool Cathedral in the distance. St Luke's having the first all metal bell frame in the world and Liverpool Cathedral having the first concrete bell frame in the world.
To the left we see another classic view of the Church. This was taken from a privately owned postcard. We see the layout of the land and the difficulty faced in building a level Church on a slope. To the left we see the end of the steps and the start of the low wall and to the right of the Church, we see the high boundary wall.
To the right, we see the same view in 2010. The only real change is with a fine patch of grass and trees, which cover the view of the church if outside the boundary wall.