NANTWICH Parish Church is the latest Church of
England building to
stand on this site in the centre of town - being built a mere 650 or so
years ago . . .
That figure is approximate. I remember the 600th anniversary
was celebrated in 1950 and that was something of
a token anniversary.
Mary's Parish Church has had a varied history, one
episode of which was being used as a jail for Royalist prisoners in the
Civil War in the 1640s. Those with a macabre view on life - or an interest in
history! - can see lead embedded in
one of the walls on the south east side where some prisoners were shot.
In 2014, the church became one of the
U.K.'s 44 Great Churches - with cathedral characteristics. It is informally
known as "The Cathedral of South Cheshire". However, in 2015 it failed in a bid
to be given minster status
In the 1960s, the church was invaded
by Death Watch Beetle in woodwork in
the building which
necessitated a major appeal.
The problem of keeping the building available not
only for the St Mary's congregation but for anyone (residency conditions apply) who wishes to use
it for a baptism, wedding or funeral, has meant a continuous programme of
restoration and repair ever since. Not that the beetle episode was the first.
Sir George Gilbert Scott's restoration of 1850 was another cause for an appeal.
(Read about the 2009 appeal here).
Although sunlight enhances the Cheshire
sandstone building, the best time to see St Mary's is in the winter
months because the trees in the church grounds mask the building from The Square
in the summer.
However, the view was improved when a
tall tree in
Church Walk was blown down in high winds in the
spring of 2007. The trees of St Mary's are also featured here.
The smaller view, above, is as seen
from the door of
It didn't help that in 2012 when the UK
was marking the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II's reign that
Nantwich Town Council organised a town centre event, giving the location as The
The wooden cross to the right of the picture (centre,
the one that is erected
in Holy Week and a cross-shaped flower bed in purple flowers comes into bloom.
Pictured above in November 2015 is a
poppy cross created in the church grounds, circled by more crosses placed by
children from local schools.
Just off The Square in the centre of town.
times: Open to the public between 8.30am and 5pm (4pm in winter), except for
Sunday afternoons. Of course,
tours of the church cannot take place during services.
There is no charge to go into the church, but with more than £400 a day to find for
running costs, the church has boxes for donations.
access: A new entrance at the south porch was completed at the start of
September 2009. As well as doors that can be opened at the touch of a button,
there is a wheelchair lift by-passing the four steps down into the church.
Further changes were made in 2016 which included a revised entrance at the West
Door with access button - and the introduction of toilets.
See this page
Places to See
index page | A great church
Websites - tourism
| What's On - churches
the Parish Hall - or Church House as some people
the way, if you visit Nantwich (or if you are a local who didn't realise it) please
note that the area of green in front of the parish church is not a lawn
for sunbathing, picnicing, etc. It is a grassed-over graveyard. . .!
Or, as the
plaque (left) in one corner says, "Consecrated Burial Ground." It was
closed to burials in 1854.
I'll bet the people who lie on the
grass in the sunny months don't realise they are lying on top of graves of plague victims! Please respect the area
for what it is.