SD8706 : Langley Chapel, Middleton Parish Church

taken 4 years ago, near to Middleton, Rochdale, Great Britain

Langley Chapel, Middleton Parish Church
Langley Chapel, Middleton Parish Church
The Rectors’ Chapel (aka the Chapel of The Blessed Virgin Mary and St Cuthbert) is commonly referred to as the Langley Chapel. The chapel was originally located in the nave until Sir Richard Assheton enlarged the church in 1524, building the new chapel onto the north aisle.

Thomas Langley (1363 – 1437) became Prince Bishop of Durham and Lord Chancellor of England under three successive kings, Henry IV, V and VI. He was England’s first Foreign Secretary and is often referred to as Cardinal Langley, though he turned this honour down. Langley was born in Middleton and in 1412 he returned to demolish the then crumbling and out-of-date Norman church and to build a brand new one in the Gothic style. Langley provided endowments for two priests to “teach one grammar school free for the poor children of the parish”. This school continued in the church until 1586 when a newly built school (to be known as the Queen Elizabeth Grammar School) was opened.

Langley is one of the figures depicted in the chapel’s magnificent stained glass window; he is second from the left. The others are, from left to right, we have Alexander Nowell, Dean of Saint Paul’s who was educated at Middleton. The Virgin Mary holding young Jesus is in the middle light of the window. The next one along is Saint Cuthbert and the last one is Saint Leonard, patron Saint of Middleton Church.

On the left hand edge of the photograph, is the new organ chamber which was completed in 1922 as a memorial to the men who lost their lives in The Great War. The screen, at the front, which separates the chapel from the nave contains some of the ancient timber retained from Langley’s medićval building.

The chapel furnishings and window are in memory of Rector TE Cleworth (1888 – 1909) by his wife.

(adapted from "the Church with a thousand year history", a guidebook available in the church)
St Leonard's Parish Church, Middleton
St Leonard’s Parish Church in Middleton is a Grade I listed building (English Heritage ID: 213457 LinkExternal link British Listed Buildings).

Much of the present building was erected in 1412 byThomas Langley (born in Middleton in 1363) who served as Bishop of Durham and Lord Chancellor of England. He re-used the Norman doorway from an earlier structure to create the tower arch. The church was completed in 1524 by Sir Richard Assheton, in celebration of the knighthood granted to him by Henry VIII for his part in the Battle of Flodden Field in 1513. As well as hanging his armour in the family chapel, he also rebuilt and enlarged the church and erected a stained glass window, depicting the archers in kneeling positions with their names written along their bows as well as Sir Richard and his wife. The Flodden Window, now moved to the sanctuary, is thought to be the World’s oldest war memorial (LinkExternal link Manchester Evening News). It is said to be one of the best known pieces of stained glass in the country and as such is now a protected national monument.
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SD8706, 112 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Saturday, 14 September, 2013   (more nearby)
Monday, 23 September, 2013
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts  Religious sites  City, Town centre  People, Events 
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Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SD 8722 0631 [10m precision]
WGS84: 53:33.1956N 2:11.6624W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SD 8721 0631
View Direction
EAST (about 90 degrees)
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