Saturday, 1 June 2013

The Beauty of Decay

Christ Church. Heaton Norris, was built by Manchester architect William Hayley in 1846 and consisted of a nave, aisles, transepts, chancel and west tower and spire, constructed in coursed sandstone in a developed Early English style.

By the early 1970s the church was in a very poor condition with rampant dry rot and a decaying roof. Efforts to convert all or part of the church for community and cultural use were unsuccessful and, following its gutting by fire in 1977, it was demolished except for the tower and spire – notable as a local landmark – and a short length of the north and south nave walls. The plan of the rest of the church has been preserved by the retention of the lowest courses of masonry.

All the fittings, glass, furnishings etc appear to have been stolen or perished in the fire. The five clock bells by Warner (1896) were stolen in 1977. The tower itself is of four stages and is surmounted by a tall, slender spire. The best views of it are probably to be had from Stockport Station.

It was vested in the care of The Churches Conservation Trust in May 1979.

A contribution to the CDPB theme day The beauty of decay.

9 comments:

  1. This really is quite beautiful!

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  2. that is really beautiful gerald!

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  3. I wonder if restoration would actually destroy the atmosphere of the ruin? I suspect so ... although it's a shame about the clocks!!

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  4. Lovely church, can imagine how beautiful it was before.

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  5. It is a beautiful building. If not in restoration, let us hope in a bit of conservation, may be to stop the decay...

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  6. There must be so very many buildings like this scattered across England, simply crying out for some TLC. And with little chance of receiving much, the need is so great.

    Thank you for this contribution to our Theme Day.

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  7. You’ve made a great Theme Day post. I'm glad you picked this for today. Thanks for the informative text. It's a shame that the church couldn't be save totally, but what remains is striking.

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