|Ornate Gates||Norman Arch at entrance|
|From the Gallery||Inside the clock|
|Bells set in the upright position||Churchwarden winding the clock|
|The Bleeding Wolf||Narrow Boats|
|Canal Side||Ramsdell Hall|
All Saints is built on a mound and has Norman origins as shown by the 12th century semi-circular archway on the south entrance which is obscured from view by the porch. The church was badly damaged by fire in 1798 and the nave was rebuilt in brick in 1803.. The tower, built in two sections, is in the Perpendicular style. Inside there is a monument to John Byber, the rector from 1530 to 1555; his initials are on the tower. The list of ministers goes back to one Edward in about 1180, followed by Richard de Mascy from about 1220 to 1250. The parish registers commence in 1559.
Lawton Hall can be glimpsed through the trees but my hand-held telephoto shot does not do it justice. It was built originally in the 17th century and inside there are two Jacobean fireplaces and 17th century staircalse. The exterior dates from the middle of the 18th century with a nine bay front and a Venetian window. Arthur Mee reports the story that Charles II stayed in a room at Lawton Hall and that he was Godfather at the Christening of the eldest son of the family.
On our second visit, on Sunday 18 February 2007, we were fortunate to find that the church was open as a service had just ended. The churchwarden was happy to show us around and we were fortunate to see part of the church rarely seen by visitors. We climbed a narrow spiral staircase to the see behind the clock and up a ladder in the belfry. The bells had been stopped in the upright position so that they ringing could begin immediately. We climbed above them to take the shot into the bell's mouth.
Church Lawton lies close to the Cheshire Ring Canal Walk and the Gritstone Trail ends close by in Kidsgrove. Walking north along the Cheshire Canal from Church Lawton one sees the back of the 18th century Ramsdell Hall on the opposite side of the canal to the path. I am grateful to Chris Roughan for pointing out a website with extensive information on Ramsdell Hall and also for bringing to my attention his novel based on the on the Lowndes, Cartlidge and Chaddock families and their connection to the hall.
The King's England - Cheshire by Arthur Mee, published by Hodder and Stoughton in 1938, fully revised and edited by E. T. Long in 1968, SBN 340 00075 9
Old Cheshire Churches, with a supplementary survey of the lesser old chapels of Cheshire, completely revised and enlarged by Raymond Richards, first published in 1947 and reprinted by E. J. Morten, Didsbury, 1973.
The Buildings of England: Cheshire, by Nikolaus Pevsner and Edward Hubbard, first edition 1971, Yale University Press edition in 2003.
All Saints has its own website