Church at risk in Denton receives £223,000 grant for urgent repairs

St Mary's Church in Denton has received a £223,000 HLF grant

St Mary's Church in Denton has received a £223,000 HLF grant - Credit: Johnnie Carslake

A Denton church on Historic England’s risk register has received a £223,000 lifeline.

St Mary’s Church has received the sum as part of a National Lottery grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

It is hoped that the urgent extensive repairs will lift the medieval grade one listed building off the at risk register.

Revd Chris Hutton, Rector of Denton, said. “It is a great relief that the repair work has started on our wonderful church building.

“St Mary’s Church has been and still is a place of worship and a huge part of the Denton community for many centuries and this work will ensure the external integrity of the building for many years to come.

“I am particularly pleased not just to see the physical refurbishment work taking place on site, but also the emphasis placed on the community aspect of the development.”

Work on the building is needed both internally and externally.

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Among the internal improvements includes replacing all the floorboards and original oak pews, removing and repairing the stained glass south aisle west window, internal plastic repairs and masonry improvements to the 15th century vaulted porch.

Externally, there will be a new underground drainage system around the church, improved rainwater pipe work and guttering, replacing the north and south aisle roofs’ lead sheet with terne coated stainless steel and other tower repairs.

Fabric officer Johnnie Carslake said: “St Mary’s has three species of bats so work progresses with great care so as to have as little impact on these bats as possible.

“Outside work will continue through the spring and summer.”

St Mary’s Denton is a flint round tower church with a square red brick tower due to a partial collapse of the round tower in the 16th or 17th century and as part of the 2018 celebrations there will be a pageant called “A Square Tower in a round Hole”.

The church is also famous for its east window which contains glass some 700 years old.

The main contractor for the work is R & J Hogg Ltd of Colney Weston and the architect is Ruth Brennan.