Kirkby Origin and History - Part 4

By 1766, the ancient Kirkby Chapel was in a decayed state and the then minister Reverend Thomas Wilkinson raised funds to replace the building which was duly constructed in plain red brick. Various additions and enlargements took place to the Chapel over the next fifty years to encompass a much needed School Room and a Vestry. But over time this became too small for the needs of the community and it too was replaced with larger purpose built buildings. A Church School was erected in 1806 on land given by Lord Sefton. This was further enlarged in 1851 and extended in 1907, continuing to be used for education in the township until 1967.

The present parish church of St. Chad was begun in 1869 and consecrated in 1871 by the Lord Bishop of Chester; located adjacent to the old Chapel. It was designed by Paley and Austin in red stone and has many Gothic and Norman features which give the appearance of an older structure. The old Chapel was taken down in 1872, its stone used to build a wall around the new Church. Both chapel and church were dedicated to St. Chad, who in the 7th Century was the Bishop of Lichfield.