Church on 'at-risk' list

Date published: 12 October 2009

The crumbling St Edmund's Church has been named among the nation's top 10 endangered buildings.

A so-called 'at-risk list' was drawn up by the Victorian Society after a nationwide appeal to find the best and most threatened Victorian and Edwardian buildings.

Nominations flooded in from conservationists, campaigners and members of the public.

The Society says that the 'unusual and extraordinary' St Edmund's building 'now faces an uncertain future'.

The Clement Royds Street building was built for the local industrialist and freemason, Albert Royds in 1873. It is thought to have cost at least £28,000 to build, an enormous sum at the time, and was of high quality and richly fitted. 

References to the traditions of Masonry are everywhere, in the weathervane and lectern in particular.

Pevsner describes the church as ‘Rochdale's temple to freemasonry, a total concept as exotic as Roslin Chapel in Scotland'. None of which has been enough to keep a congregation going in the 21st century and earlier this year the Grade II listed church closed.

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