Tin church becomes listed building

RATTLING ominously in the August gales the little tin church of Bailbrook Mission has finally won recognition high on its hill above the mellow stone masterpieces of Bath.

The Victorian building, bolted together from sheets of corrugated iron a century ago this year, has been officially designated a Grade II listed building by the Department of National Heritage. Once threatened with demolition as a rusting slum, it now shares the same architectural status as its neighbouring Georgian cottages in Bailbrook Lane.

Graham Boys, 48, a veteran of alternative theatre, who bought the building as his home 15 years ago, paying its last vicar pounds 1,500 cash, is delighted. 'Everything looks a lot brighter,' he said yesterday. 'Provided the weather doesn't take it away no one else will now.'

Michael Trevallion, an architect who specialises in restoration and has been helping Mr Boys keep 'Our Lady of Crinkly Tins' upright, said: 'The listing describes it as an exceptionally elaborate example of a tabernacle. There's one in Cheltenham, also listed Grade II, but it's not as complex as this one. I understand there's also one in Cardiff Bay. After all this time these survivors of Victorian mail order architecture are rare.'

Bailbrook Mission, with its 30ft lantern tower, lancet windows with intersecting tracery and hand-coloured glass, was built in 1892 to pacify the unruly social habits of workers in the local Robertson jam orchards.

Mr Boys said his main concern was to raise pounds 25,000 to restore the building's corrugated iron cladding and give it a better grip on the ground. British Steel is offering cost-price sheeting when restoration work gets under way and Mr Boys has applied to the Ecology Building Society, Keighley, Yorkshire, for a mortgage.

'Basically the building isn't fixed down with anything,' Mr Trevallion said. 'Graham thought some of the roof might disappear in the summer gales and worried about putting ropes over the top to hold it down. Fortunately they held.'

Mr Boys added: 'Now it's been listed, the site's worth pounds 50,000 and I'm only looking for half that. Time's running out a bit. August was very noisy here which doesn't bode well for this autumn. I've read that there's going to be unstable winds coming up every day now. That's just not good news for me.'

(Photograph omitted)

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Mid Weight

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...

Recruitment Genius: Marketing Data Specialist

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are the go-to company for ...

Recruitment Genius: Search Marketing Specialist - PPC / SEO

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the UK's leadin...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This caravan dealership are currently recruiti...

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test
Tour de France 2015: Twins Simon and Adam Yates have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Twins have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Yates brothers will target the steepest sections in bid to win a stage in France
John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy