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St Thomas Church - Bedford, Leigh - Nov 2021 | Other Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

St Thomas Church - Bedford, Leigh - Nov 2021

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MK83

Wife and husband
28DL Full Member
Explored this place over 2 visit's, the first was the same day @MotionlessMike posted his report coincidently but we weren't happy with some of our shots so went back the other day to retake a few. In-between the 2 visits it seems the vandals and kids have started to descend and the place has started to go downhill fairly rapidly sadly. The stained glass is starting to get more smashed up and the interior of the church getting more heavily vandalised. Strangely I found out after our first visit that this was my mothers local church when when she was a child, she attended the Sunday school here, and my aunty had her wedding here in the 70's.

History - The current St Thomas's Church is the second church to be built on this site. The Foundation Stone of the first St Thomas Church was laid by the Right Honourable Lord Lilford on November 21st 1839. It was consecrated on October 12th 1840. Mills and Butterworth of Manchester were the architects and Haddock of Warrington was the builder. This Church lasted for about sixty years. A school was housed in the crypt in the 1860s. The present Church, built in the Late Decorated or Early Perpendicular Gothic style, was built in stages as money was raised. The architect was Mr R Bassnett Preston of Manchester and the builders were J Gerrard and Sons, Swinton. The material used was Accrington red brick. Runcorn red sandstone was used for the doorways, windows, arches, piers and the roof was made of pitch pine, covered with Coniston green slates.
The Dedication of the completed building by the Lord Bishop of Manchester, Dr. Knox, took place on October 12th, 1910, the 70th Anniversary of the Consecration of the old Church. The church was closed in 2013 due to it requiring significant repairs that would cost around 1.5 million.

Explore - This is a stunning building and the clock/bell tower is especially impressive. The stained glass is also epic. The area is quite rough and there is a lot of evidence of drug use, the ground around the church is littered with needles and such. Access is currently quite easy. All in all it's well worth the visit but due to the increasing amounts of vandalism it probably wont stay in this state for long.


Photo from between 1902-1910 of the present church being built in stages alongside the original church.
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Thanks for looking.
 

MK83

Wife and husband
28DL Full Member
Lovely bit of eclesiastical goodness there....
Thanks, It does have some great features
Nicely done. Such a shame it is being vandalised quickly, you can almost see the outcome for this place which is sad. The clock tower looks lovely indeed.
Thanks, It is sad, if it doesn't get re-sealed soon it will quickly get completely wrecked.
 
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Dragon_Urbex

Guest
Guest
In this photo you posted I can tell which foundry cast the bell - the John Taylor of Loughborough foundry. I can tell by the headstock. But, sadly it looks like the bell wasn't taken out properly. I can see a large chunk of the crown still attached to the headstock which means it was likely scrapped. As it's an early 1900s church, this bell would likely have been one of the Taylor foundry's best bells. Such a damn shame. Good report nontheless!

1637242566513.png
 

MK83

Wife and husband
28DL Full Member
In this photo you posted I can tell which foundry cast the bell - the John Taylor of Loughborough foundry. I can tell by the headstock. But, sadly it looks like the bell wasn't taken out properly. I can see a large chunk of the crown still attached to the headstock which means it was likely scrapped. As it's an early 1900s church, this bell would likely have been one of the Taylor foundry's best bells. Such a damn shame. Good report nontheless!

1637242566513.png
Thanks, There's a video on youtube of the bell from 10 years ago. I know nothing about church bells but was interested to see it intact. links here -
 
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Dragon_Urbex

Guest
Guest
Thanks, There's a video on youtube of the bell from 10 years ago. I know nothing about church bells but was interested to see it intact. links here -
Bloody hell it was a lovely bell. 15cwt is about 750kg so it was quite a meaty one. I'm a ringer myself, have been for almost 9 years (9 years ago exactly on Monday actually!). Just a shame that bell is gone. Sounded bloody lovely.
 

MK83

Wife and husband
28DL Full Member
Bloody hell it was a lovely bell. 15cwt is about 750kg so it was quite a meaty one. I'm a ringer myself, have been for almost 9 years (9 years ago exactly on Monday actually!). Just a shame that bell is gone. Sounded bloody lovely.
That explains why you know so much about church bells! I think this one has been taken for scrap tbh, I suspect it was scrap metal thieves that cracked the church as it looks like the metal has been taken from most of the place. No clue how they would get it out though at that weight.
 
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Dragon_Urbex

Guest
Guest
That explains why you know so much about church bells! I think this one has been taken for scrap tbh, I suspect it was scrap metal thieves that cracked the church as it looks like the metal has been taken from most of the place. No clue how they would get it out though at that weight.
Yup, I am a bit of a brainbox when it comes to bells. I think it has as well, as part of the crown is still attached to the headstock. The metal thieves/scrappers would have smashed it up in the tower and taken it down in chunks. Easier and less likely to be seen yoinking a three quarter ton bell with chains and hoists etc. Bastards.
 

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