Located in the rural village of Higher Walton, surrounded by a colourful variety of trees, flowers and shrubs, St’ John’s Church is an acknowledged gem which has the appearance and polish of a miniature Cathedral.
Our founder and benefactor was Sir Gilbert Greenall. Bart. (1806-1894). It is said that having done so much for surrounding parishes, he felt that the parishes of Higher and Lower Walton should have their own Church. Stockton Heath and Daresbury were too far away so Sir Gilbert decided to build, at his own expense a church at Walton on that part of the estate on which most parishioners lived and worked.
The architects chosen were among the foremost of the day, Paley and Austin of Lancaster for their ability to provide interesting varieties of style. One moment we meet pure Gothic, then Early English or Perpendicular. Such, however, is the unity of the whole that there are no clashes of style throughout the church.
The sole contractor was Mr. R. Fairhurst of Whitley, and the Clerk of Works Mr. Perkins. The total cost was £17,500. and if that seems trivial enough today, it was an enormous sum even in the late 19th century. The cost of a similar building today, even if the craftsmen could he found, would he in excess of a million pounds.
The style of the Church is decorated Gothic, built of Cheshire sandstone, and dominated by a spire which rises to a height of 130 feet. The outer walls of the tower are relieved by alternate squares in two colours, giving a check board effect. The cruciform plan is well defined, with four large arches at the Crossing which support the tower, which is 24 feet square. The Nave is 78 feet long and the Chancel 37 feet long and 20 feet wide.