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At St Michael and All Angels` Church. Trip to Heritage Site and its Hidden Corners.

We have Heritage Open Days which is England's largest festival of history and culture, and a chance to see and visit hidden places, reminiscence about heritage sites. These places are often surrounded by beautiful green areas, and the interiors and architecture are decorated with elements of nature.

It was an opportunity for me to see one of the most beautiful churches in my area. So welcome to my photo story about trip to St Michael and All Angels` church, and its hidden corners, a heritage site and a Grade I Listed Building.

A person author at the mirror taking selfie with camera and wooden, gold and green ceiling in the background
Me at the mirror taking photo of the wooden ceiling at St Michael and All Angels` heritage site

St Michael and All Angels` is an Anglican parish church in Ashton under Lyne (Greater Manchester, UK). It was founded in 1281, but the current building dates from the 15th century and was later rebuilt in Victorian times.

Its key features are spectacular stained glass, glorious furnishing and captivating architecture.

The stained glass windows at the St Michael and All Angels` are the most important reminiscence of medieval stained glass in North West England.

This was my second visit to this place and this time I wanted to see the panorama of the city from the tower.

One of the volunteers guided me to the tower. The stairs leading to the tower are very narrow and there are over 160 steps to climb to the top. As I walked higher and higher, I encountered several small doors along the way, true hidden corners of this place. I entered the nave where there are ropes for pulling the bells for the bell ringers. Presumably at one time the privilege of using these ropes for ringing was passed down from generation to generation. Most likely, the merit of ringing the bell in the church tower was passed on only to a small family circle. Along the way, I could see a fossil on one of the walls in a narrow tower, which was probably built there together with building materials and nobody even noticed it in the olden days. I wonder if there is still a fossil embedded in a wall somewhere in the world? So at St Michael and All Angels` church this is a real sensation?

Fossil brown embedded in the beige structure of the wall
Fossil embedded in the wall at St Michael and All Angels` church heritage site © Agnes Romaniuk | Nature Photography & Illustrations

Behind one of the small doors are hidden the church bells and I could see them very close.

Finally, I reached the very top of the tower and I could see the city from above. The architectural decorations surrounding the towers make an incredible impression on me.

The city is very green from above and I could even see the Grade II* Ashton-under-Lyne and District War Memorial.

Panorama of town, brown and beige buildings , war memorial garden in the centre, roofs of houses, blue sky, green trees, road and cars, church tower
View on War Memorial Grade II listed in Ashton under Lyne | Copyright Agnes Romaniuk Nature Photography & Illustrations

In front of the church I could admire stone plaques commemorating families belonging to the community of St Michael and All Angels church. I like the craftsmanship with which the letters are carved into the stone on the church grounds.

That day, there was a queue of curious people of all ages wanting to enter the St Michael and All Angels` church heritage site, and many young people, wanted to climb to the top of the tower to admire the views of our green city.

If it weren't for this wonderful idea of Heritage Open Days events for the public taking place throughout the UK, I would never be able to see the tower of St Michael and All Angels church, and the panorama of the town.


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