St. Michael and All Angels' Church
St. Michael & All Angels' Church lies in the town centre of Ashton-under-lyne and has been known for Centuries as Ashton Parish Church. The Church lies on foundations dating back to the thirteenth century. It is thought that there was a church on this site before the Norman Conquest.
The church was dedicated to St Michael and All Angels when it was rebuilt in 1422, although much of the current structure was re-constructed in Victorian times.
The church was built in the Perpendicular style with large windows. The Church boasts some of the best examples of fifteenth century stained glass left in Britain. There are eighteen panels illustrating the life of St. Helena now situated on the South side.
The nave of the church is dominated by a nineteenth-century three deck pulpit. This is placed half way along the north side with the pews facing towards it rather than the altar. The pews themselves are boxed with small doors for access. They are of different sizes and would have been reserved for particular families, with the better-off families nearer the front.
The rood screen, separating the chancel from the nave, was taken down in 1792 allowing space for more pews. In the nineteenth century more emphasis was put on the sermon than on the ceremonial part of the service that took place on the altar, which led to the fitting of the spectacular three-tiered pulpit which dominates the nave, and towards which all the pews face.
The church tower was rebuilt in 1888 after being weakened by a fire. It is 145 feet high and has a peel of thirteen bells. The first 8 bells were opened in 1779, with two more added in 1790. by 1888 their was 12 bells. The last bell was added in 1926.
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Following the 11am communion service on Thursdays, church remains upon for a little while and visitors are welcome to look around