Church of St Mark Worsley
Scott had already designed several churches but these were somewhat dull. It was said that they had been designed "with a general disregard of the requirements of ritual", the result of his upbringing, his father being a low church Anglican.
The Church of St Mark was built on Cross Field, 10,403 square yards of land belonging to the Bridgewater estates. The field had gained its name from a wayside cross which stood at the junction of Leigh Road and Walkden Road and was so marked on the plan accompanying the conveyance of the land to the church authorities. The foundation stone was laid by George Grenville Francis Egerton, the future 2nd Earl on 14(15?) June 1844, his twenty-first birthday and was consecrated on 2nd July 1846 by Dr Bird Sumner, the Bishop of Chester. The total costs of the works is said to be approximately £20,000. Documents in the Bridgewater estates include an expenditure between 1844 and 1846 of £7,727 8s 10d including architect's fee of £250 and an amount of £1,056-9s 1d for oak brought from the Earl's midlands estates for use in the construction of the hammer-beam roof and pews.
LISTING TEXT - Church Built 1844-6; north aisle added 1851. By Sir George Gilbert Scott for Lord Francis Egerton, 1st Earl of Ellesmere. Snecked stone with slate and copper roofs. Nave with clerestory, aisles and west tower; chancel, side chapel, vestry and organ chamber. Gothic Revival in a C14 style.
Five bay nave and aisles with weathered plinth, weathered buttresses and coped parapet to aisle. Each bay has a two light window with Geometrical tracery. Gabled porch in bay 2. The chancel has a five light east window and is flanked by the side chapel and organ chamber all with parallel pitched roofs. The chapel has three bays and has added enrichment to buttresses and a pierced parapet Imposing 4 stage tower with set back weathered and gableted buttresses has a weathered plinth, bands at each stage, west door, three light west window, clock faces on the third stage, two light belfry openings below crocketed gables and a dogtooth enriched eaves band with gargoyles. The spire is supported by flying buttresses and has gabled lucarnes at the base, all of which are liberally enriched by crockets and gargoyles.
INTERIOR: Decorated piers and double chamfered nave arcade with hood-moulds and head stops. Hammer beam roof trusses. Carved stone font The pulpit and organ case incorporate C16 and C l7 carvings of French and Flemish origins, and the church contains much other woodwork of high quality including the choir stalls, sedilia and font canopies, and a near complete set of benches. The elaborate carved stone reredos with panels of mosaic and inlaid stone, mosaic floor and, probably, the fine iron screen (thought to be by B. Skidmore) were introduced in 1866. The monument to Lord Francis Egerton, d.1857, was designed by Scott, with effigy by Matthew Noble and decorative carving by Birnie Philip. The designer of the intensely coloured (possibly continental) stained glass in the east windows is unknown; window in south aisle (SA2) by Morris & Co., 1905. Outstanding architectural creation by Sir George Gilbert Scott over which he took great care. The church contains an exceptional group of fittings of both contemporary and antiquarian interest
Full length recumbent statue in white marble of the 1st Earl in his robes as a Knight of the Garter executed by Matthew Noble.
Lectern 1894, with figure of St Mark, designed by John Douglas and executed by E. Griffiths of Chester at a cost of £50, the gift of W.L. Bousketz
During the construction of St Marks, Scott was involved with other projects including the design of the new Lutheran Church of St Nicholas in Hamburg. Entailed visits to Europe to study Belgian and German Gothic architecture.