Low Catton, All Saints
Originally a Norman cruciform church with aisles added in the C13th and a C15th tower. By the mid C17th the church had fallen into disrepair.
The chancel was largely rebuilt in 1866 and the church was again restored in 1908 by Walter Brierley.
Most of the fittings are C19th and there is some superb stained glass, especially the 1866 William Morris window, considered to be one of the finest examples to be seen in the North of England. The Children’s Window in the north transept was restored through Sunday School donations in 1908.
The chapel in the south arcade was established as a memorial to the local men who lost their lives in WWI. Nearby is a hole in the wall, possibly a hagioscope.
The church nave roof lead was stolen in January 2019 and the church is fundraising to replace it.
Low Catton church has a very long-established colony of Natterer's bats roosting inside the nave. The bats leave large quantities of droppings and widespread urine staining throughout the church interior.
Previous surveys were unable to work out how the bats are entering the church building, and attempts to move the bats into special bat slates in the south face of the chancel roof were unsuccessful.
The Bats in Churches project worked with the church architect and a registered ecologist to find suitable bat mitigation measures. Surveys under the Bats in Churches Class Licence were carried out in 2020 and 2021 which showed the bats accessing the nave from the tower. They are also roosting in the chancel roof void.
A heated bat box was installed in the tower in May 2021 to provide suitable maternity roost habitat for the bats. An additional box was installed in October 2022 and bat access to the main part of the church from the tower was closed off.
In June 2022, the Bats in Churches Engagement Officer visited a local primary school to talk about bats, churches and the work of the project.
The Bats in Churches project provided cleaning support during 2022 and 2023, and a cleaning workshop led by The Churches Conservation Trust took place in October 2022 for church volunteers.