Heritage

 

THE HISTORIC CHURCH of ST LAWRENCE, DENTON

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founded 1531, extended 1872

St Lawrence Church 2010 in Black and White

After standing for nearly 500 years from the Tudors to present day,  this church remains as a symbol of the religious life of Denton, physically linking with the town's medieval past and local families who founded the chapel.

 

©Photo Bob Alston 2010

It is known locally as

small cross

  Th'owd Peg, because of the wooden pegs used to join the timbers

small cross  The black and white church for obvious reasons

There are extensive parish records available for those interested in genealogy further information is available from UK and Ireland Genealogy


Historical Development

St Lawrence's Church, Denton is a timber-framed building dating from 1531 at the most conservative estimate.  Only 29 of this type of common medieval building remain in England and Wales.  These are scattered from Kent in the South East to Lancashire in the North West.  Originally the timber-framed structure was neither a parish church nor dedicated to St. Lawrence.  It began as a chapel of ease (a type of half-way house) for the medieval manor of  Denton within the Parish of Manchester, dedicated to St. James.  It became a parish church under the name St. Lawrence in  1839. Story of St. Lawrence can be read by clicking this link.

When the chapel was built, its original benefactors, the Hollands and Hydes, were staunch Roman Catholics.  It stood firm also through the upheavals of the Puritan Era, under the leadership of the much-persecuted Puritan leader, John Angier. A later notable pastor, William Parr Greswell, began the process of reshaping the chapel along more conventional liturgical lines, a process later accelerated in the era of the Tractarian Movement.

The Church was dedicated to St. Lawrence by Parr Greswell as a result of the discovery within the structure of fragments of glass depicting the martyrdom of St. Lawrence.  These fragments are now incorporated into a window on the south side of the sanctuary. 


Geography

The Church stands on the busy Ashton to Stockport Rd, and so is seen by many travellers.  It is about a quarter of a mile from the Town Centre of Denton, at the centre of the parish of St. Lawrence.


Environmental  Significance

The Church stands in one of the few open green spaces in the urban environments of Denton.  The trees in the churchyard have Preservation Orders on them.  Both the Parochial Church Council and the Local Authority are in total agreement that the openness of the site should not only be preserved but enhanced for the sake of the local community, and future generations.



Tour of the Exterior of the Church
A tour of the key features outside the Church

Tour of the Church Interior
A tour of the key features inside the Church