St Martin's Church, Ashton upon Mersey

St Martin's Church, Ashton upon Mersey
St Martin's Church, Ashton upon Mersey, from the southwest
St Martin's Church, Ashton upon Mersey
Location in Greater Manchester
Coordinates: 53°26′00″N 2°20′38″W / 53.4332°N 2.3440°W / 53.4332; -2.3440
OS grid reference SJ 773 930
Location Church Lane,
Ashton upon Mersey,
Sale, Greater Manchester
Country England
Denomination Anglican
Website St Martin, Ashton upon Mersey
Status Parish church
Functional status Active
Heritage designation Grade II*
Designated 11 November 1966
Architect(s) W. H. Brakspear, George Truefitt
Architectural type Church
Completed 1887
Materials Lymm sandstone
Slate and tile roofs
Timber-framed top stage to tower
Parish Ashton upon Mersey
Deanery Bowden
Archdeaconry Macclesfield
Diocese Chester
Province York
Reader(s) Brian Raby
Organist(s) Jan Archer
Churchwarden(s) Margaret Holt, Audrey Black

St Martin's Church is in Church Lane, Ashton upon Mersey, a district of Sale, Greater Manchester, England. It is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade II* listed building.[1] It is an active Anglican parish church in the diocese of Chester, the archdeaconry of Macclesfield and the deanery of Bowdon.[2]


The first church, probably timber-framed, was built in 1304 on the site of an old Saxon burial place. In 1704 it was destroyed by a storm.[3] A new church was built in 1714 for Joshua Allen. In 1874 a baptistery by W. H. Brakspear was added. In 1886, the turret and clock were removed and the following year a new tower was built, it was designed by George Truefitt for Sir Williams Cunliffe Brooks.[1][4] In the same year a ring of 13 bells was installed and a new lych gate was built.[3]



The church is built in Lymm sandstone[3] with slate and tile roofs. Its plan consists of a wide nave of four bays, a south porch, a north baptistery, and a chancel with an adjoining tower containing a vestry to the south. The tower is square, its top stage being timber-framed. It contains a clock face to the south, gables on each side and an elaborate weather vane. The baptistry is octagonal with a pyramidal roof.[1]


At the west end is a gallery. The roof is double hammer beam in type. The chancel walls are panelled with the ends of former box pews. One font dating from the 16th century on a 20th century shaft is wrongly dated 1304. Another font dates from the 18th century.[1] The parish chest is long and narrow, and is dated 1706. On the walls are a number of memorial tablets. The parish registers date from 1631 but are not complete and are in part difficult to decipher.[3] The stained glass in the east window was given in 1862 by James Occleston.[4]

External features

In the churchyard is a sundial dating from the early 19th century in stone with a copper dial and gnomon. It is listed at Grade II.[5] Also listed at Grade II is the lych gate dated 1887 designed by George Truefitt. It is timber-framed with a pyramidal clay tile roof on a brick plinth. Two sides have large semicircular arches; the other two sides are vertically studded. All sides have pierced roundel bands just below the eaves. The gates are cast iron.[6] The churchyard contains the war graves of 16 service personnel, eight of World War I and eight of World War II.[7]

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 Historic England, "Church of St Martin, Sale (1067893)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 27 March 2012
  2. St Martin, Ashton-upon-Mersey, Church of England, retrieved 10 May 2011
  3. 1 2 3 4 Richards, Raymond (1947), Old Cheshire Churches, London: Batsford, pp. 22–24, OCLC 719918
  4. 1 2 Renshaw, Charles J. (1914), History of the Church of S.Martin Ashton-upon-Mersey (2nd (1950) ed.), Beech Hurst, Ashton-upon-Mersey
  5. Historic England, "Sundial, St Martin's Church graveyard, Sale (1356527)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 27 March 2012
  6. Historic England, "Lychgate, St Martin's Church graveyard, Sale (1101520)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 27 March 2012
  7. ASHTON-UPON-MERSEY (ST. MARTIN) CHURCHYARD, Commonwealth War Graves Commission, retrieved 5 February 2013

Further reading

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