About this church
A striking 1857 church known as the burial place of 19th century politician William Gladstone, whose Arts & Crafts marble monument dominates the Gladstone Memorial Chapel. There is a stained glass window by Burne-Jones dated 1898.
There was a church at Hawarden since at least the 6th century, though the first record of a rector comes from 1180. The Norman church was restored in 1855, but just 2 years later it was badly damaged in an arson attack. The church was restored again by Sir George Gilbert Scott, who managed to salvage some of the woodwork and stained glass. A porch was added in 1896, blending perfectly with the older structure, and from 1901 a memorial chapel for William Gladstone was added.
The Gladstone Memorial Chapel was designed by John Douglas of Chester to hold a monument to William Gladstone, designed by Sir William Richmond for Gladstone's son, Henry Gladstone. The monument was installed in 1906 and is truly is a wonderful example of Victorian funeral art and a masterpiece of Arts and Crafts style. The figures of Gladstone and his wife are shown lying, with an angel bending over them to form a canopy. All the figures are carved from white Carrera marble. Around the tomb base are silvered bronze figures, and the tomb itself is made from Sienna marble.
Most of the windows are dedicated to members of the Glynne and Gladstone families. The west window was designed by Morris & Company in 1898 and is the very last window designed by Edward Burne-Jones. He also designed the east window.
Outside in the churchyard is a baluster sundial and a South African War memorial. Immediately beside the church is Gladstone's Library, founded in 1895 by William Gladstone at a personal cost of 40,000 pounds. Gladstone donated his library of 32,000 books to the library, and carried most of them to the site himself in his wheelbarrow from his home at Hawarden Castle.