The foundation stone of St Mary’s Church, located in the centre of Rawtenstall, was laid in 1836 and the church was consecrated in 1838. In 1880 the old tower was demolished and the church extended to accommodate a growing congregation. The tower which can be seen today was completed in 1888. The rebuild took place during a very prosperous time when Rossendale was known as the ‘Golden Valley’ due to the wealth created by the cotton and woollen mills. The building of the new tower was supported by several benefactors, including Mr Henry Hoyle Hardman, a local industrialist who lived in Oak Hill – now Whittaker Park Museum. You can discover more about the history of St Mary’s Church here.