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Modern Britain

Gallery: Churches of Cheshire

by Peter Kessler, 21 January 2020

Cheshire East Part 1: Churches of Marbury to Knutsford

Church of St Michael & All Angels, Marbury, Cheshire

The Church of St Michael & All Angels, Marbury, stands on the southern side of Wirswall Road at the junction with Hollins Lane, and with Big Mere to its west. The initial church building on this site was a wattle-and-daub structure that was built in the thirteenth century. It was replaced by the present building during an enthusiastic period of church construction in the fifteenth century. Dated at 1456, the church's wooden pulpit is the oldest surviving pulpit in Cheshire.

Church of St Bartholomew, Church Minshull, Cheshire

The Church of St Bartholomew, Church Minshull, is at the north-east corner of Cross Lane and Over Road to the east of the village. A Saxon church may have stood here, to be replaced in 1541 by a timber-framed church which, in 1572, contained at least fifty coats of arms, either shown in the stained glass or on the walls. In 1667 a storm damaged the roof and the west wall. At the beginning of the following century the tower partially collapsed and was rebuilt in 1702.

Church of St Bartholomew, Church Minshull, Cheshire

The rest of the church was still in a dangerous condition. It was rebuilt in 1720. A clock was added to the tower in 1722. Fires in 1798 and 1804 led to restoration work in 1861. Further fires occurred in 1874 and 1885. In 1891 there was another restoration, by Walter Boden. The previous internal alterations had weakened the structure and, in 2000, it was declared unsafe. A major roof restoration took place in 2002. During 2007 the tower roof was restored.

St Michael & All Angels Church, Middlewich, Cheshire

St Michael & All Angels Church, Middlewich, is on the south side of St Michael's Way, flanked east and south by Leadsmithy Street and Wheelock Street. It stands proud in its surroundings, which will have changed a good deal since it was first built. The earliest elements of its fabric appear to date from no earlier than the mid to late twelfth century, which show very clearly the transition from Norman to Early English style although only fragments remain of this structure.

St Michael & All Angels Church, Middlewich, Cheshire

The rest of the church has been altered during the ensuing centuries. Chancel and nave were both rebuilt in the early 1300s, so the church is mainly Perpendicular in style. The fine carved capitals of the octagonal nave piers are considered particular worthy of note. The tower was added in the 1400s. The church was not helped by the English Civil War, when the doors were blown off the front. Apparently a canonball mark still exists on the wall by the door.

Brook Street Unitarian Chapel, Knutsford, Cheshire

Brook Street Unitarian Chapel, Knutsford, stands immediately south of the Brook Street and Adams Hill junction (this postcard looks at the chapel from the north-western corner, which would place Adams Hill behind the photographer). The meeting began in 1687 in private dwellings, but land was soon donated so that the congregation could begin to build this chapel. It resembles a house because there was a fear that the right to worship could be withdrawn.

One photo on this page from the History Files Collection, one kindly contributed by Sam Weller via the 'History Files: Churches of the British Isles' Flickr group, and four originally published on Lynne's 'Echoes of the Past' blog and reproduced here with permission. Additional information by Sam Weller, and from 'Echoes of the Past'.

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