A Short History of St Mary's

Little Crosby

by Frank Tyrer, M.A., B.SC.
(First Revised in 1983 by Mgr. S.F.Breen, and again in 2003 by Mr B.M. Whitlock Blundell))


"The story of St Mary's Church, Little Crosby, does not begin with the actual building of it in 1847, but rather with the days of Queen Elizabeth I. The real foundation stone is to be found in the faith and courage of the Lords of the Manor, the Blundells of Crosby, and the villagers in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries, a faith and courage tested by bitter sacrifices, imprisonment and even death. And so, we must therefore begin the story of St Mary's. not in the 19th but in the 16th century."

Thus reads the opening paragraph of this interesting little booklet which gives a brief history of the Blundell's of Crosby, and a detailed description of the interior of St Mary's Church.

The booklet is available from the church, price £2.00 (click here to go to order page), but we invite you to look further by clicking on the illustrated sub-sections listed below.

Click on any of the links below to see more of the history of St Mary's :

Monsignor Sidney Francis Breen
1914 - 2007

Our much loved friend and past Parish Priest Monsignor Breen died in the early hours of Sunday 4th February. He was our Parish Priest from 1975 until his retirement in 1997, and during that time he endeared himself to all. His sermons were remarkable for both their intellect and their ability to reach out to everyone. In his later years up to his death he devoted his life to looking after his two sisters, Norah & Phyllis, the latter dying only a few months ago.

He was born on 31st January 1914 in Liverpool, the son of Philip and Ann Breen. His early education was at Mount Pleasant Convent. He studied for the priesthood at Upholland and Ushaw Colleges, and was ordained to the priesthood on 18th May 1940 at Upholland.

His first appointment was to St Oswald's, Ashton in Makerfield and from September 1942 to July 1972 he held various positions at Upholland culminating in being rector. On leaving Upholland in 1972, he was appointed Parish Priest of St Paul's, West Derby. In 1975 the Archbishop thought he should have a less stressful life, and to our good fortune, appointed him to Little Crosby where he became our rock and friend.

May He Rest in Peace




The Harkirk Chapel
The Ceiling
The following sections will be added shortly :
Early History - Before 1847
St Mary's Church - Interior
The Stained Glass Windows
Side Chapel of Our Lady and The English Martyrs



St Mary's Church, Little Crosby.
Consecrated 7th September, 1847

Parish Priest : Father Dunstan Harrington.

Copyright, Frank Tyrer
E Mail : Friends of St Mary's Little Crosby for all matters relating to the website only