The work carried out to renovate the tower at Ashton Parish Church should hopefully be completed in the next five months, it will cost just over £250,000.
The remedial work had become very necessary due to weather damage and bird excrement. The stone filials and ferrous tie bars will be replaced and repairs will be made to the clock, boiler flue and chimney. The dials will be regilded and the flagpole relaced.
There is a fascinating history behind the tower with the first tower being built in 1413/1421 only lasting one hundred years. A second tower was built around 1516 and was damaged during a terrible storm in 1791, when it was struck by lightening. The resulting damage instigated a local rhyme which said " poor Ashton people, ten bells and and an old cracked steeple ". Another Tower was built in 1817/18 and was over one hundred and twenty feet high and survived until 1886 despite being wrecked by fire.
The current tower was built between 1886 and 1888 and was designed by Joseph Crowther and built by Joesph Storrs and Sons of Stalybridge. The tower has over 18 bells and there was great rivalry between the Ashton church bellringers and other local churches at Oldham and Mottram, they used hold regular bellringing matches.