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St Martin’s Church, Ashton upon Mersey, from the southwest

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St Martin’s Church in Ashton upon Mersey, a district of Sale, Greater Manchester, is an active Anglican parish church in the diocese of Chester, the archdeaconry of Macclesfield and the deanery of Bowdon.[1] It is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade II* listed buildingStructure of particular architectural and/or historic interest deserving of special protection..[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 baptistry 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.[2][4] In the same year a ring of thirteen bells was installed and a new lych gate
Roofed-over gateway into a churchyard.
was built.[3]



The church is built in Lymm sandstone,[3] with slate and tile roofs. Its plan consists of a wide naveCentral part of a church, used by the laiety. of four bays, a south porch, a north baptistery, and a chancelPart of a church containing the altar, used by the officiating clergy. with an adjoining tower containing a vestry to the south. The tower is square, with a timber-framed top stage. 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.[2]


At the west end is a gallery. The roof is double hammer beamStructural framework of timbers designed to bridge the space above a room and to provide support for a roof. in type. The chancel walls are panelled with the ends of former box pewsType of church seating with enclosed sides.. One font dating from the 16th century on a 20th-century shaft is wrongly dated 1304. Another font dates from the 18th century.[2] 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 incomplete and in part difficult to decipher.[3] The stained glass in the east window was donated by James Occleston in 1862.[4]

External features

A early 19th-century sundial in the churchyard, in stone with a copper dial and gnomon, 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 the First World War and eight of the Second.[7]