And it would seem that it was ever thus.
A church had stood on the site in the Lawn since 1154 and was dedicated to St Mary until the mid 16th century. It was partially restored in 1736 but by the mid 19th century was fast becoming too small for the town's growing population.
Christ Church, the new parish church in Old Town, was consecrated in 1851, leaving the old church of Holy Rood abandoned.
The Vestry, the seat of local government back in the day, met in March 1853 and after thanking the re-elected Churchwardens Robert Reynolds and Richard Read for their work during the previous year, it was announced that the old parish church would be demolished asap. Did they discuss an alternative use for the building? Did they consider preserving more than 700 years of history? Doesn't look like it.
It will be seen by an advertisement in this paper, that the building materials are to be disposed of by tender. An excellent opportunity will be afforded to persons about to build to procure a large quantity of well seasoned stone. A large quantity of well seasoned oak panelling will be sold as part of the materials
|by J L Jefferies|
|by J C Buckler|
|Earliest known photo of Holy Rood taken by Nevil Story Maskelyne|
|Ice House, the Lawn|