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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 building.[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]



Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Ashton-upon-Mersey (St. Martin) Churchyard.
Historic England. Sundial, Saint Martin’s Church Graveyard. 2022,
Historic England. Church of St Martin, Sale. 2022,
Historic England. Lychgate, Church of St Martin. 2022,
Renshaw, Charles. History of the Church of S.Martin Ashton-upon-Mersey. Reprint of 1914 edition, Beech Hurst, 1950.
Richards, Raymond. Old Cheshire Churches. Batsford, 1947.
The Church of England. St Martin.