In April 1500 a Chantry was founded in Lathom Park by Thomas Stanley, the first Earl
A Chantry was a place where Masses were recited at an altar for the wellbeing of
the founder during his lifetime and for his soul after his death. Where a Chantry
formed a separate Chapel, as at Lathom, there were often Almshouses or a hospital
attached. In this was housed and cared for a number of poor men or bedesmen to whom
the Chantry Priest was Chaplain. The bedesmen’s duties were to attend church daily
to pray for the soul of their benefactor.
Its history up to 1924 was much involved with the families of the Stanleys (Earls
of Derby) and later the Bootle Wilbrahams (Earls of Lathom and Lord Skelmersdale).
Since 1924 it has been attached to the parish of Ormskirk.
The chapel has lovely windows and carvings The screen came from the dissolution of
Burscough Priory under Henry V111 and is scarred with what are said to be bullet
holes made by Roundhead muskets during the English Civil War(1642 – 1646)
The Chapel is set in pretty and well tended gardens. Outside it also has a burial
vault within railings.
Note also “The Cromwell stone” on the right of the driveway
A COPY OF OUR HISTORY, 500TH ANNIVERSARY, LATHOM HALL, ETC. CAN BE OBTAINED FROM
THE BACK OF THE CHAPEL