Church  History - 18th and 19th Centuries
The 18th and 19th Centuries
In 1823 William Ryder arrived as Vicar, and the church was given a new lease of life. New
roofs were put on the nave and chancel; new oak pews were installed and it was decided to
follow the practice of other churches by blocking off the chancel from the nave and using it
only for communion services and funerals. The arch was boarded up, the screens covered
with curtains and a singing loft installed in front of the organ. Prior to this music had been
provided by woodwinds and strings, with the musicians and choir seated in a gallery at the
west end of church. Now the choir were near the organ, making the musicians redundant.

Heavy galleries were installed all the way around the church to increase the seating from
about 300 to 1100 to accommodate the growing population. This involved raising the outer
walls of the nave aisles by four to six feet thus hiding the lower part of the clerestory from the
outside. The rough walling of the new part is in marked contrast to the smoothness of the
old. The west door was built up to allow that end to be filled with pews. In its place, a small
door was opened on the north side, directly opposite the southern porch. This was later filled
in when another door was opened in the north wall near the vicarage. Evidence of both can
still be seen today. William Ryder resigned in 1825 when the work was completed.

In 1839 Alfred Gatty became Vicar. He was not enamoured with what he saw and
determined to return the church to its former dignity. In 1858 Gatty followed the example of
Sheffield and Rotherham by reopening the chancel and removing the singing gallery. The
other galleries were taken down in 1879 and the nave was re-seated with oak benches instead
of pews. Marks where the galleries were fitted can still be seen today on the walls of the aisles
and on the arches of the crossing.

Into the 21st Century
Since World War II further extensive work has been carried out to the fabric of the church.
The bells have been re-tuned and the wood in the tower replaced by steel girders. The
chancel was given a new roof in 1958 and the medieval bosses in the chapels restored to their
former glory.

In 1969 the beams of the roof in the nave were found to have been eaten away and the walls
had leaned outwards nine inches on either side. A new roof was needed to prevent the whole
structure from collapsing.

A major re-ordering of the nave took place in the mid 1980's. A new altar and lectern were
provided and pews were removed from the back of the church, creating a space for social
activities. Extra rooms were built in at the north eastern corner to provide a choir vestry and
meeting room in 1989.

The year 2003 saw the creation of kitchen facilities and a toilet at the South western corner of
the church. New lighting and sound systems have been installed and a replacement boiler
for the central heating system.
Image Stalls
Image Elevation
Image Old Floor Plan
Architects Plan
Showing original
'Family' stalls.
Click to enlarge
Architects Plan
Showing old Pew
arrangement.
Click to enlarge
Architects Section
Elevation - Showing the
Galleries - now removed.
Click to enlarge