Churches and Chapels of Stoke-on-Trent

St. John the Evangelist, 

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St. John's Church, Hanley
St. John's Church, Hanley
pen drawing by Neville Malkin - March 1975

-click picture for more-


"The church of St. John (originally built 1737, and rebuilt 1788) is a plain brick building In debased Gothic style,.."
[From: 1898 Cassell's 'Gazetteer of Great Britain & Ireland']

"Hanley Church, St John, stands in a spacious cemetery, and is a large brick edifice, with a tower 100 feet high, containing an excellent peal of eight bells. The interior is neatly pewee, and will seat 1200 hearers. It was erected by subscription at the cost of about 5000, in 1788, on the site of a small chapel built in 1764 on land given by a Mr. Adams, at the cost of 1000, of which, 500 was given by John Bourne, Esq., who died in 17643.
The church is vested in the patronage of about 27 trustees, and the pews are all private property; but Mr. Bourne who can be regarded as the founder, endowed the perpetual curacy with 60 acres of land at Halmer End, in Audley parish, and it has since been augmented by subscription, and Queen's Anne's Bounty, so that it is now valued at 220 per annum, exclusive of pew rents.
The late Rev Robert Ellis Aitkins held the benefice from 1802 till 1849. The rev. G.F. Whidborne, M.A., is the present incumbent, and has a neat residence; and the Rev. T. R. Musselwhite, B.A., is the curate.
The church yard was enclosed by new fencing in 1850.

[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851

St. John the Evangelist (Hanley):
The parish church of St. John the Evangelist was founded and endowed with 500 in 1737 by Mr. J. Bourne, of Newcastle-under-Lyme, the site upon which the old church was erected having been presented by Mr. Adams, of Birches Head. The church, which was afterwards enlarged by Mr. Bourne at a cost of 140, was rebuilt in 1788, when a sum of no less than 6,000 was expended upon it; and the building was consecrated in 1790. This period is the one at which ecclesiastical architecture was at its lowest ebb in this country; and Hanley parish church shared in the general depression of taste. It is a plain brick edifice in a debased style of Gothic, and comprises a chancel and nave, quasi-aisles and a western tower of three stages, with embattled parapet of pinnacles, containing a clock and eight bells hung at a cost of 500. The church was restored and reseated in 1885, at an expenditure of 1,200, and has now 1,250 seats, 500 of which are free.
[From: A descriptive account of The Potteries (illustrated) - 1893 advertising and trade journal.]

"...A polygonal chancel was added in 1872; the stone pinnacles which originally embelished the tower have since been removed.
Recommended for closure in the 1970s, St.John's was instead given a remarkable 26,000 interior facelift. Unchanging as a centre of worship, the building was adapted to offer unique facilities for education and the arts.....
Subsidence is the latest threat to the church's fabric, with ominous cracks on the wall of the nave.... A prestigious new redevelopment scheme, The Potteries Shopping Centre, is now nearing completion...."
[From: "Six of the Best" by Richard Weir. 1988]

"The parish church of Hanley, St. John's stands near to the Potteries Shopping Centre in Town Road. A Grade II listed building, it is probably on of the world's earliest surviving buildings to be constructed with cast iron. It was closed in 1985 when the tower was declared unsafe and the bodies were exhumed from the graveyard to make way for the ring road."
[From "Images of the Potteries" 1999]


St. John the Evangelist
St. John the Evangelist

photo: around 1900



Description: 'Hanley Church.' Built 1788-90.
A north west view chiefly showing the tower.
There are people standing in the graveyard.

Donor Ref:
' SV-IV.267b  (45/8182)'
William Salt Library
Copyright information:
Copyrights to all resources are retained by the individual rights holders.


Date: 1835 - 1845 (c.)

Description: 'S. E. View of Hanley Church,' showing a brick building of the
Gothic revival (1788) with a western tower.

Donor Ref:
SV-IV.267a  (45/8181)'
Source: William Salt Library
Copyright information:
Copyrights to all resources are retained by the individual rights holders.


questions/comments/contributions? email: Steve Birks