Church of St Lawrence - Denton


Church of St Lawrence - main view

Byrom Clark Roberts have been involved in repairs & restoration works to St Lawrence Church since 1996.  

St Lawrence Church, Denton, is a rare example of a medieval timber framed church. Research by the University of Sheffield on timber core samples have confirmed that the upper wall sections and trussed roof structure are largely original and date to 1531.

Archaeological Studies by the University of Manchester have concluded that St Lawrence’s as the most complete example of a timber framed medieval church in England as it still retains approx. 80% of the medieval structural timbers.

Later alterations and extensions to form the extended Chancel and both trancepts were completed by James Medland Taylor in 1872.

St Lawrence’s Church is listed grade 2* as a building of national architectural and historic significance.


Byrom Clark Roberts have been involved in repairs & restoration works to St Lawrence Church since 1996.  We have overseen three phases of English Heritage grant aided repairs work to restore the surviving medieval timber frame to the Nave.

The remaining restoration works to the north elevation now require the demolition of the existing external boiler house. However, this could not be achieved until a new internal heating system had been installed.

The brief was to install a new underfloor heating system to the Nave and South Trancept and a radiator based heating system elsewhere to the Chancel & North Trancept. The works were also to include new lighting and electrical circuits within the whole building; together with the installation of a new separating glazed screen to the south trancept to form a community meeting room with adjacent two storey vestry. This new facility comprised a drinks servery and WC facilities to the lower floor with a new Parish Office and Clergy WC/ changing room to the upper floor. A new heating & plant room was also to be sited on the upper mezzanine floor.

Challenges + Opportunities

Church of St Lawrence

An initial archaeological pre-contract was undertaken. This involved the removal of the existing solid floors to the Nave and south trancept together with excavations in key areas to determine the location of burials. Existing stone flags were carefully recorded and stored so that these could be repositioned within the new floor. Fortunately, this exercise did not uncover any significant archaeological issues preventing the planned new construction work.

The existing floor had suffered from differential movement so the decision was taken to install a new reinforced concrete floor slab which would span across soft spots in the existing subfloor.  A light weight ‘lytag’ aggregate was used to infill the subfloor voids in order to minimise loading on the existing subsoil.  Insulation was then laid under and to the perimeter of the new floor slab. New underfloor heating coils were embedded within the new floor screed which is bonded to the new floor slab enabling both to act as an effective ‘heat sink’ within the lightweight (largely uninsulated) existing timber superstructure.

The removal of the church organ (damaged by earlier roof leaks) in the South Trancept provided the space within which the new double height vestry could be inserted. The church has therefore greatly increased their usable space within the confines of the existing historic building envelope.


Our Conservation Philosophy on the project was to work sympathetically within the existing medieval & victorian building but not to replicate the original structure.

The new works are in English Oak but with a light clear finish so that all of the new work can be clearly distinguished from the darker stained/ aged original material.


Byrom Clark Roberts provided Architectural Design and Specialist Conservation Consultancy Services together with structural design to the new mezzanine support structure.

Our reordering work has been sympathetic to our Tudor foundation and history whilst enabling the building to embrace 21st century facilities, to become a worship and community centre building on the past for the present and the future.

Church of St Lawrence

  • Project Type : Church Conservation & Re-ordering
  • Project Value :  Phase 1: £31,300  Phase 2: £306,000
  • Project Status : RIBA Stage 7: Completed and in use.
  • BCR services : RIBA Work Stages  1-7 
  • Start / End : 2012 Phase 1. March 2013-May 2014 Phase 2.
  • Contractor : William Anelay Ltd (Phase 1 Investigation Works). HH Smith & Sons Ltd.  Phase 2 Fit Out Works.
  • Last Updated : 3rd November 2016




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