All Saints Heritage

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For more than 1000 years, a building has stood on this spot. Local people from the community of Wath have come here to celebrate – to seek help – to give support – to pray – to worship God. Some have come week by week – others have come on special occasions – times of joy and sorrow – to give thanks or to find comfort.

A very old photograph of All Saints Church
All Saints Church, black and white photograph

Over the years, the building has changed and grown, been altered and adapted. Saxons and Normans, Tudors and Elizabethans, Victorians and even the people of today have left their mark on it.

Heritage & Tourism Group

The Heritage Group came into existence in 2006 thanks to an organization that formed the Rotherham Churches Tourism Initiative. This was an organization that was supported financially by the Heritage Lottery Fund. They provided training in ‘Welcoming’ and ‘First Aid’ so as to be able to welcome visitors to the churches within the area and to ensure their safety.

It was an attempt to gradually increase attendance at church services and invite people to become interested in the history of the churches within the boundaries of Rotherham. To this end, there was the opportunity to apply for a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to help set up these members and the equipment that they needed.

When the Lottery started, it followed the example of almost every other fund provider in the country. It insisted that it would not support any religious applications. The Lottery decided to help create the Heritage Lottery Fund as this would provide some finance, if only through the back door, to support in some way the religious organizations and, at the same time, to assist the historic buildings in and around the country.

In September 2006, We adopted the constitution For Wath All Saints’ Heritage and Tourism Group. Our first involvement was to take part in the Heritage Open Day 2006, and All Saints’ was open for visitors.

Sadly, the Rotherham Churches Tourism Initiative closed down and became Heritage Inspired, which took over the work, and they became the people who tried to guide all the members along the way.

Heritage Inspired is no longer with us due to the funding failure, but we remember them each year.

Since then, we have continued to do our ‘thing’ each year in September, and hopefully, we will continue to do so with the help of any newcomers who would like to become involved; they will be greatly welcomed.

All Saints Church in blue sky.
All Saints Church Building on a fine winter’s day.

A Grade I Listed Building

The date of the Saxon church is unknown. Wath appears in the Domesday Book of 1086.

The Norman north aisle was added to the Saxon church in 1145-50, and the Norman tower and arch were added in 1175. The Apsidal (round) east end was replaced by a square east end in 1230. The Lady Chapel was enlarged in 1290-95.

In 1305-20 the Early English south aisle and chancel arch were added. In 1360, the outside wall of the north aisle was rebuilt – a porch and clerestory were added – a priest’s chamber or vestry was added, and a door from the chancel to the vestry was added.

1350-96 saw the top story of the tower, and a short spire was added. The first clock was installed in the tower, and the spire was replaced by the present one, which took place in 1714. There was a major restoration in 1868, and an organ chamber was added.

Following the fire of 1917, restoration followed in 1920 – the organ chamber and choir vestry were enlarged, and a clergy vestry was added. 1975 saw the restoration of the tower.

A colourfully decorated roof boss
One of many decorated roof bosses.

In 1976, a major restoration was done, and roof bosses were painted. 1990-91 saw the restoration of the Lady Chapel roof and eroded stonework. Restoration of the Baptistry was carried out in 1998.

Recent Projects

Projects for the Millennium saw a wooden cross with ironwork placed on the wall over the tower, the area behind the altar decorated and enhanced with wooden boards displaying the 10 Commandments, The Creed and the Lord’s Prayer and a Sundial which had been removed in the 1970s due to stone erosion was replaced using the original gnomon.

We only keep current registers in the Church. If you would like to find out details from old registers, then you will need to contact Doncaster Archives.

New sundial on the Church porch.
A millennium project, the sundial.