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Report - Providence United Reform Church, Middleton Manchester - August 2010.



Ojay

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Staff member
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#1
Providence United Reform Church, Middleton Manchester - Visited By Ojay.

middleton_prov.jpg


Exterior: Flemish bond brick with ashlar dressings and slate roof. 4-sided gallery plan. Gable-pedimented elevation with projecting plinth, first floor sill band, rusticated quoins and paired entrances. The 6-panel doors have fanlights and an entablature on flat pilasters.

Segment-headed windows to either side and 4 round-arched first floor windows with pilasters, keystones and circular tracery. The pediment has elementary brick modillions, polychromatic brick patterning and a central oculus with mouchette tracery and arabesque surround. 6-bay side elevations with similar windows on 2 levels and an eaves cornice.

Interior: virtually complete with the panelled gallery parapet sweeping round at each end supported on cast-iron columns. The box pews follow a similar curve in the gallery. Organ chamber in arched recess occupying the North gallery behind a tall panelled pulpit approached by opposed steps with cast-iron railings. Many interesting features survive including the original hymn number board, the plaster ceiling and cornice, early C20 light fittings and
leaded glass.

It's origins date back to 1822 and is one of the oldest churches in Middleton

middleton_prov_old.jpg


The building seen standing today was completed and opened in June 1860 at a cost of £2,500. In 1868 the organ was installed and was later restored in 1922 at a cost of £1,750!!

The stained glass windows were added much later in 1891.

The Church finally closed it's doors in 1991 since falling numbers led to the congregation merging with Alkrington United Reformed church, and with no money for maintenance the building soon began to decay.

Now a Grade II listed building at has been stood empty for 18 years.

The Pikey's strike again, having stolen valuable tiles from the roof allowing water to get inside and chunks of masonry have fallen off the building.

A large section of the Gallery was also destroyed in a fire, many of the original stained glass windows have been smashed and have since been boarded over to prevent further vandalism to the building.

The roof has also given way, and collapsed, covering the pulpit with rotten timber and fire damaged debris. The organ is sadly no more, just a brick arch where it once resided.

The latest in a long line of proposals for the building - Six apartments, but it is not clear what would become of the intricate interior woodwork and ornate balcony, which are the reasons for it being listed.

To date, it remains derelict, and now home to around 20-30 pidgeons, hence the place is laid thick with poop, and many of the original timbers are rotten.

Be warned, the upper section is 'Death on a stick'. Having climbed up to the Gallery and walking across to the other side, it was a case of snap, and my foot had disappeared below :eek:

I carefully took as many pictures as I dared before GTFO,


Aisle

Aisle.jpg


Original stained glass windows & Pews

Windws.jpg


Windows_Pews1.jpg


Windows_Pews2.jpg


The roof is badly damaged, with gaping holes in a number of places exposing the Church to the elements

Damaged_Roof1.jpg


Damaged_Roof2.jpg


Debris from collapsed roof covering a large section of the floor and the original Pulpit

Collapsed_Roof.jpg


Looking up; The remains of the Gallery

GALL_UP.jpg


Up here to the Gallery....

Upto_Gallery1.jpg


Upto_Gallery2.jpg


Gallery

Gallery.jpg


View_RearGallery.jpg


View from the rear of the Gallery, looking towards the Pulpit and Organ

Rear_Gallery_ToPulpit.jpg


Original Gallery

Gallery_Old.jpg


And Pulpit

Pulpit.jpg


Karaoke :D

Hymms.jpg


Rear of Chapel, below the Gallery

Beneath_Rear_Gallery.jpg



On the way out, I managed to find this chap who also had the same idea, but sadly never made it beyond the debris and dereliction....

Bird.jpg


Thanks for looking :thumb
 

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