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  • lynnpearson2

A Midland Railway mission church

The Midland Railway reached what is now the Derbyshire village of Westhouses in 1861. Further development took several years, but eventually the need for an Anglican church was recognised. Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee in 1897 provided an impetus for fundraising, and the following year a contract was signed for an iron church to be made by Messrs Bruce & Still of Liverpool (one of the lesser-known 'tin tabernacle' manufacturers); it opened in September 1898. Although much of the village remains, St Saviour's Church was declared redundant in 1995 and moved about 10km south to the Swanwick Junction museum complex, part of the Midland Railway - Butterley heritage line.

Re-erected, it is still used for occasional services and is

open to visitors when the Swanwick Junction site is open (reached by train from Butterley, check the website for details). As tin tabernacles go, this example is quite elaborate, and the wood-lined interior is positively snug. It is one of about 150 such iron churches to have survived from the several thousand put up in England in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.





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