Restoration for medieval church
THE medieval Middleton Parish Church is undergoing a refurbishment to restore it to its former glory.
Grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Viridor-Credits and ChurchCare through the Wolfson Foundation mean that extensive repairs to the church on New Lane were able to get underway.
Scaffolding has been erected around the church and work is pro- gressing on chiselling out the cement mortar on the north clerestory and the tower.
The wooden belfry is in good condition, except for its roof, where stone slates have slipped and are being removed and refitted or replaced, as is the felt.
The weather cock and compass points have been sent away for repairing and regilding.
Next, any defective load-bearing blocks of stone will be cut out of the tower and replaced.
The original stone came from Royley Quarry in Haggate, Royton, and the replacement stone, which matches perfectly, is being quarried at Longridge, Preston.
The entire work on the church, which is expected to last until the end of April 2019, includes the removal of cement mortar and repointing with lime mortar on as much of the external walls as funding permits.
Faulty stone will be replaced, as will battlements which have been vandalised or have decayed.
Windows and frames will be repaired and the south gates will be replaced with ones similar to the originals.
Geoff Wellens, of Middleton Archeological Society, said: “The church is the best example of a medieval church in Greater Manchester as it is little spoiled over the 600 years since Langley built it. We are truly fortunate to have it here in Middleton.
“All this work has been made possible with grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund, ViridorCredits and ChurchCare through the Wolfson Foundation, to whom we owe a great deal of thanks.
“In addition to this work, the church has had to fund the replacement of the two elderly heating boilers. This has cost £21,000, thankfully funded by The Friends of Middleton Parish Church. Worth it – now the church is warm again.”
A book on stained glass has also been created thanks to the heritage lottery grant.
It should be available free of charge from the church in December – with donations towards the restoration much appreciated.
Liz McInnes, right, with Coun Donna Williams, and staff from Silhouette
The scaffolding goes up at Middleton Parish Church, right