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The Parish Church

St. Michael's Church, Ashton under Lyne
St. Michael's Church, Ashton under Lyne.

The Church of St. Michael and All Angels is the Parish Church for Ashton under Lyne.

It is thought that there was a church on this site before the Norman Conquest as the Domesday Book mentions a St Michael's Church in the east of the ancient parish of Manchester.

The present building dates from the fifteenth century although much of the structure was re-constructed in Victorian times.

The church was built in the Perpendicular style with large windows. Buttresses were required with this type of building as the large window area reduced the strength of the walls.

St Michael's 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.

East window, St. Michael's Church
East window, St. Michael's Church.

The picture on the left shows the large east window. The St Helena glass, which was originally situated here, was re-located to the smaller windows along 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 and the choir area reduced, 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 is 145 feet high and has a peel of thirteen bells.

Nave and pulpit, St. Michael's Church
Nave and pulpit, St. Michael's Church.
Boxed pews, St. Michael's Church
Boxed pews, St. Michael's Church.
Pulpit, St. Michael's Church
Three-tiered Pulpit, St. Michael's Church.
Font, St. Michael's Church
Baptismal Font, St. Michael's Church.
St Helena stained glass, St. Michael's Church
Part of the St Helena stained glass, St. Michael's Church.
St Helena stained glass, St. Michael's Church
Part of the St Helena stained glass, St. Michael's Church.
St Helena stained glass, St. Michael's Church
Part of the St Helena stained glass, St. Michael's Church.
St Helena stained glass, St. Michael's Church
Part of the St Helena stained glass, St. Michael's Church.

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