Building Name

Church of St. Stephen Audenshaw

1844 - 1846
Audenshaw, Ashton-under-Lyne
GMCA, England
New build
Grade II
Thomas Greenhalgh, Greenhalgh and Mellor

Typical Shellard. Essentially this is still of the Commissioners' type, i.e. paired lancets along the sides, quatrefoil piers with fat shaft rings, three galleries with Gothic parapet, but the west tower with broach spire and two tiers of lucarnes already recognizes the new principle of archaeological accuracy. The church was in fact paid for by the Commissioners (£2,900). The chancel was rebuilt in 1900.

FOUNDATION OF A NEW CHURCH AT AUDENSHAW, NEAR ASHTON. Yesterday afternoon the first stone of a new church was laid in the township of Audenshaw, near Ashton-under- Lyne by Legh Richmond Esq. ….  The site is very near to the railway station of Guide Bridge, being a portion of field on the north side of the railway, between it and the road leading to Hooley Hill.  The church will be in the early English style of architecture, from designs Mr E H Shellard, architect, of King-street, this town, under whose superintendence it will be erected. Mr. Shellard, it will be remembered, was the architect of the new church at Blakeley, whose completion we recently noticed; and this church has been so much admired, that we understand many churches about to be erected, (this at Audenshaw being one) will be built precisely on the same plan. The church in question will be somewhat smaller, the number for which accommodation is to be provided being 700, and 400 of the sittings will be free. It will have a square tower at the west end. The exterior is to be wholly built of stone, adorned with pedimental buttresses and shafted windows, similar to those in Salisbury Cathedral. The principal approaches will be through enriched doorways the southern and western sides of the sacred edifice. The church will be inwardly divided into nave and aisles by two rows of clustered pillars, supporting arches, from the spandrels of which will rise the main timbers of the roof, which will be finished in imitation of ancient samples. The pulpit and desk are to be placed each side of the chancel archway, and approached by staircases formed in the thickness of the walls. The chancel (a spacious one) will be elevated two stops above the general level of the nave, and should the funds permit, be adorned with stained glass windows. The seats will be fitted up the ancient manner, with stall ends, having foliated furials and low backs. This church, when finished, will present a chaste and beautiful appearance, both externally and internally. The builders are Messrs. Mellor and Greenhalgh, of Manchester: the total cost will be about £3000, and the edifice is to be completed Christmas next. [Manchester Courier 17 May 1845 page 5]

CONSECRATION OF ST. STEPHEN'S, AUDENSHAW, NEAR ASHTON-UNDER-LYNE. This new church was consecrated on Saturday last, three o'clock in the afternoon, by the Lord Bishop of Chester. …. This church contains 780 sittings; 400 of which are to be free. This handsome little church, which is built in the early English style of Gothic architecture (from designs furnished by Mr. Shellard, architect, of Manchester), consists of a nave, with north and south aisles, chancel, and western tower. The roofs are of open timber framing, stained in imitation of old oak, and the galleries and chancel railing are of an exceedingly chaste and beautiful character. The tower is intended to be surmounted by a lofty spire, when the funds for such purpose shall have been raised; meanwhile, it will remain at the height of the ridge line of the nave. The cost of the church has been about £2,400. The builders were Messrs. Mellor and Greenhalgh, of Manchester. The church was raised by subscription, and the site was given by the Earl of Stamford and Warrington. [Manchester Courier  1 July 1846 page 6]

eference    Manchester Courier 17 May 1845 page 5 - foundation
Reference    Manchester Guardian 15 March 1845 page 8 – contracts
Reference    Manchester Courier 15 March 1845 page 5 – contracts
Reference    Manchester Guardian 22 March 1845 page 8 - contracts
Reference    Manchester Guardian 12 April 1845 Page 7 -Contracts - extension of time
Reference    Manchester Guardian 12 November 1845 page 6 – Anticipated riot
Reference    Manchester Guardian 15 November 1845 page 15 – magistrates court
Reference    Manchester Courier  1 July 1846 page 6]

ICBS 03458     New Church, Grant approved
Reference    Minutes: Volume 12 pages 167,214,298. Note CBC grant
Drawings    Ground plan (after work); Gallery (after work)