The present Parish Church is St Mary's, Harold Young in his 1909 book 'A Perambulation of the Hundred of Wirral' describes the church as "modern and uninteresting".

The Church was Consecrated on Wednesday, 28th April 1868 by the Right Reverend Dr Jacobinson, Lord Bishop of the Diocese of Chester. Following the Consecration of the Church and Churchyard, the Bishop and a large party of clergy and ladies and gentlemen were entertained to lunch by Mr W Inman at Upton Manor.

St Mary's Church in 1917

The church was designed by the Scottish Architect John Cunningham in 1867. The architecture is based on the early English style and uses stone quarried locally at Storeton and Flaybrick. The land on which the church stands was donated by the ship owner William Inman who lived in the Manor.


St Mary's Church Interior in 1893

Mr Inman also donated £3,140 of the £4,000 that it cost to build the church, and most of the fittings for the church, including pews, pulpit and communion table. The organ was donated by Mr Forbes who lived in the Salacres.

In 1886 stained glass windows representing 'The Lord's Supper' were put in the apse and two stained glass windows representing "The Angel of the Sepulchre" and "The Three Mary's Approaching the Tomb" were put in the chancel. Four years latter, in 1890, a stained glass window representing "Faith, Hope and Charity" was put in the knave next to the organ chamber.


St Mary's Church in 1905

St Mary's Church in 1998

The chiming clock was installed in 1912 as a memorial to the late Rev Edward Ditcher Ward, vicar from 1873 to 1909. The clock and chiming apparatus were built by Messrs. John Smith and Son Limited of Derby. The chime is not the usual Westminster chime but one composed by the makers, only five other churches have a similar chime. In 1930 it was proposed to add a clock face to the south side of the tower at a cost of £17-00-00.


Memorial to Reverend Edward Ditcher Ward

The pinnacles on the top of the tower became unsafe and were removed in 1932.


St Mary's Church in 1979

 Interior of St Mary's Church in 1979

The church has a communion cup and patten presented by Charles Bold in 1618, The cup is engraved with the Bold coat of arms and the following inscription:

Carolus Bold, filius Petri Bold de Upton armigere, dedit hunc calicem ecclesie ibidem eodem tepore dedit illis Bibliam 1618

which translates to 'Charles Bold, son of Peter Bold of Upton gentleman, gave this chalice to the church there at the same time he gave this Bible 1618'. The bible referred to was described in the Parish Magazine of 1911 as a Geneva or 'Breeches Bible', bearing the imprint of Christopher Barker, London, 1599. Unfortunatly, this bible went missing sometime between 1920 and 1940.

There is, however, a bible which was found in a cupboard in 1892, this appears to have been made up of parts of older bibles, and the new testament within this volume has the imprint of Christopher Barker dated 1599, so it is possible that this is part of the Bold Bible.


 St Mary's Church in 1912

The church has a peal of five bells, they were cast by Messrs Mears and Stainbank when the church was built in 1868. The tenor bears the inscription:

These bells were presented to St Mary's Parish Church Upton by public subscription 1868

There were three bells in the old Norman church located at Overchurch Hill, two of these were sold in 1709 to help pay for repairs to the church. A reproduction of the remaining bell was cast in 1813 when the church at Greenbank was built. This bell is now kept in St Mary's Church.


In 1976 a new extension was added to the church, this provided additional space within the church, a new entrance and a link between the old school and the church. The new extension was officially opened on 11th September 1977.


St Mary's Church in 1979

In 1976 a new extension was added to the church, this provided additional space within the church, a new entrance and a link between the old school and the church. The new extension was officially opened on 11th September 1977.


Plan of St Mary's Church 1868

List of Vicars

  •           - 1873 .. .. .. Johnston Hamilton Acheson
  • 1873 - 1909 .. .. .. Edward Ditcher Ward
  • 1909 - 1910 .. .. .. George Elles Aickin [1]
  • 1910 - 1911 .. .. .. Cecil Henry Druitt [2]
  • 1911 - 1935 .. .. .. Richard Henry Bellamy
  • 1935 - 1962 .. .. .. Harry Leslie Crabb
  • 1962 - 1980 .. .. .. Leonard Roy Barker
  • 1980 - 1994 .. .. .. Nigel Maynard Walker
  • 1994 - 2005 .. .. .. Robert John Shimwell
  • 2006 -           .. .. .. Graeme John Skinner

[1] Later became Principal of Ridley College, Melbourne
[2] Later became Bishop of Adelaide



Can You Help?

Do you have any pictures of Upton, or of events in and around Upton either old or not so old?

Do you have any documents, newspaper cuttings or other information relating to Upton or the surrounding area?

Do you have any stories about Upton or the surrounding area?

If you do, please contact me by e-mail at