St Luke

​The last bomb site in Liverpool, St Luke’s is testament to the brave people who lived and died during the May Blitz of 1941.

About this church

The site for the church was given by Edward Smith-Stanley, 12th Earl of Derby in 1791 on condition that the land should never be used for any other purpose than that of a church. Plans for the design of the church were first drawn up in 1802 by John Foster, senior, the surveyor of the Corporation of Liverpool, but the foundation stone was not laid until 1811. Building work, supervised by Foster, progressed slowly, and during this time the plans were amended to make the building suitable both as a ceremonial place of worship for members of the Corporation, and also for use as a concert hall.

In 1822 it was decided to add a chancel to the church. Foster's son, also named John, took over the role of Corporation surveyor and continued to supervise the building, making further changes to the design in 1827. Building was finally completed in 1832. The church was known as 'the doctor's church' because of its location near to Rodney Street, the home of many doctors. It continued to be used as a concert hall as well as a church until the Philharmonic Hall in Hope Street opened in 1849. Between 1864 and 1873 minor alterations were made to the church by W. & G. Audsley.

On 6 May 1941, during the Liverpool Blitz, the church was hit by an incendiary device that caused a large fire, leaving only the burnt-out shell of the former church. It has since been nicknamed 'the bombed out church'. It has been decided to maintain the church as it is, a burnt out shell, as a memorial to those who died as a result of the war.

Since 2007 the church has been operating as a managed ruin and multidisciplinary arts venue with a programme of curated events, community engagement and creative learning projects. A gateway building within the city, crucial to both its past and present, the Bombed Out Church is a place for everyone. ​

Key Features

  • Captivating architecture
  • Enchanting atmosphere
  • Fascinating churchyard
  • Social heritage stories
  • National heritage here
  • Famous connections

Visitors information

  • Level access to the main areas
  • On street parking at church
  • Parking within 250m
  • Accessible toilets nearby
  • Dog friendly
  • Walkers & cyclists welcome
  • Space to secure your bike

Other nearby churches

MiguelMendez
MerseysideLIVERPOOLLiverpoolCathedral(miguelmendezCC-BY-2.0)1

Liverpool Cathedral

From the very early days of its origins and starting to build just after the turn of the 20th century, through to its completion in 1978, the story of this great cathedral, the largest in the UK and the fifth largest in the world, is unique and fascinating.

Become a Friend of the National Churches Trust, for people who love church buildings!