St Augustine’s Church Tin Tabernacle
St. Augustine’s, is a tiny black & white, ‘tin tabernacle’ style building, that stands proudly in the rural East Staffordshire village of Draycott in the Clay.
A tin tabernacle, also known as an iron church, is a type of prefabricated ecclesiastical building made from corrugated galvanised iron. They were developed in the mid-19th century initially in the United Kingdom.
The Industrial Revolution was a time of great population expansion and movement in Europe. Towns and cities expanded as the workforce moved into the new industrial areas resulting in the building of more than 4,000 churches during the mid 19th century. Churches, chapels and mission halls were built in new industrial areas, pit villages, near railway works and in more isolated rural and coastal locations.
Early tin churches were easily erected, but at an average cost of between £2 and £4 per sitting, were expensive.
Only 86 remaining corrugated iron churches of all denominations survive in England, and fewer than 20 are listed. Some redundant chapels have been moved to museums for preservation. St Chad’s Mission Church was moved from near Telford to the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust’s Blists Hill Victorian Town in Shropshire, while St Saviour’s Church from Westhouses in Derbyshire may be seen at the Midland Railway Centre’s Swanwick Junction site.
St. Augustine’s ‘tin tabernacle’, which was one hundred years old in 2023, is still used as a place of worship today and is licensed for marriages. The church seats around 40 people, ideal for an intimate wedding venue.
You can read more on tin tabernacles on the Historic England website here
and take a peak inside see here.
Other attractions in the area: Please see bottom of page
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