Why Is There Scaffolding on Prescot Parish Church Tower?

By on Thursday, July 26, 2018

Passersby have been wondering why the tower of St Mary the Blessed Virgin, on Church Street in Prescot, has been clad in scaffolding for several weeks – and now we have the answer.

As Knowsley’s only Grade I listed building, the parish church is in need of constant repair and restoration. In 2014, it was the Jacobean timber roof that needed a massive rescue operation, costing upwards of £200,000 to halt a deathwatch beetle infestation.

Experts have been mostly on an exploratory mission so far, to see what state of repair the age-old tower is in. Although the main church dates to 1610, the tower dates to 1729, with the steeple added in 1797.

The current project is costing an estimated £300,000, made possible by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Here’s a rundown of what’s been found so far.

Steeple stones need replacing, repairing & repointing

Decayed stonework, leadwork & louvres (slatted windows) to be replaced

Loose bits galore!

Fractured & damaged masonry

Angel features need regilding (poor cherubs!)

Work is expected to continue until October or November 2018. The Vicar of Prescot would like to thank the Heritage Lottery Fund for making this vital restoration and repair work possible.

Want to find out more about the project? Click here to download all notes and photos as a PDF.

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