St. Luke Churchyard

Photo added by Wertypop

St. Luke Churchyard

St. Luke's Church Road
Formby, Metropolitan Borough of Sefton, Merseyside, L37 2DF England
Memorials 1,234 added (89% photographed)


A plaque (see Photo) located on the Chapel reads as follows. "The Nave of this Church, built by Mary Formby of Formby Hall, on land granted by Richard Formby M.D. of Formby Hall, was consecrated by the Right Rev'd. the Lord Bishop of Chester, December 14th A.D. 1853"

Formby Chapel, St. Peter, St. Luke

A Chapel existed from the 12th century on the Formby land. Erosion and sand storms slowly eroded the building and grounds until finally in 1739 when a series of large storms came in and destroyed the chapel, buried part of the cemetery, and drove the residents inland. This Chapel was often called Formby Chapel. Which seems to have stuck with the chapel though the years. In 1742 a new chapel was built further inland called St. Peter. This chapel incorporated some of the salvaged pieces from the original 12th century chapel, such as stones, sundial, bell, church plate, and an oak chest. St. Peter was built in Georgian style and constructed in 1747. At some point in time St. Peter Chapel was abandoned.

In the 1840's Rev Miles Formby had the idea to rebuild the chapel. At this time Miles' older brother, Dr. Richard Formby, who owned the land, donated the lands for the new chapel. So beside what was left of the cemetery, which had continued to be used, and the ruins of St. Peter construction on the new chapel began. The chapel incorporated items form the original 12th century chapel and from St. Peter. After the destruction of the original chapel the front was found lying on the boundary of the churchyard where local farmers had been using it to sharpen tools - thus it is well worn. Dating back to Norman times it was used once again as the front.

Miles Formby died before the completion of the new chapel, however, Miles' wife Caroline PEEL Formby and Miles' sister Mary Formby financed the building of the new chapel. The chapel was dedicated St. Luke, patron saint of doctors, on 14 December 1854 by Rev. John Graham Bishop of Chester.

In 1897 some improvements were added. the Chancel and Transepts were added, financed by Caroline Formby, daughter of Richard Formby M.D..

The oldest grave surviving in the churchyard cemetery dates 1666. There were many more older stones found under the sand. Headstones were found all around the churchyard with only initials and dates after the storm of 1739. It is known that the bodies of sailor and soldiers who died at sea in ship wrecks in the 1600's were buried in the churchyard. On 25 September 1672 the bodies of 58 soldiers drowned at sea were interred at Formby.

St. Luke Church is not the oldest church in Formby, but it marks the site of the oldest center of worship.

NOTE: The original name of the county of both Formby Chapel and St. Luke was Formby, Lancashire, England, until 1 April 1974 when Lancashire County was divided into smaller counties with Merseyside being one of these smaller counties. Thus the location of the current church is: Formby, Metropolitan Borough of Sefton, Merseyside, England


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GPS Coordinates: 53.5520000, -3.0869800

  • Added: 1 Jun 2010
  • Find A Grave Cemetery: #2356273