MIDDLEWICH

Grid Ref. SJ 704 663
16 June 2001, 28 June 2005, 6 May 2009

 

St. Michael's Church spacer Poor Box
St. Michael and All Angels   The Poor Box of 1682
Public House   White Bear
The White Bear   Symbol over the archway
Technical School   Technical School
Victoria Technical Schools and Free Library of 1897   Engineering and Metalwork
Technical School   Technical School
Sculpture, Architecture, Pottery and Painting   Chemistry and Geography

 

There has been a church on this site since the middle of the 12th century. The only evidence remaining from this period are four pillars in the nave. The chancel and most of the nave were rebuilt in the 14th century. The tower, the Lady Chapel at the East end of the South aisle were added in the 15th century and the Kinderton Chapel, also known as the Bostock Chapel, was built in the 16th century. Gilbert de Venables was the first Baron Kinderton, holding his land under Hugh Lupus, Earl of Chester in the reign of William I. The oldest monument in the church is a brass plaque dating from 1591 which commemorates Elizabeth Venables, the wife of the then Baron of Kinderton. The chancel roof was provided by Sir William Brereton of nearby Brereton Hall in 1621. There are stained glass windows in the South Wall commemorating members of the Vaudrey family.

The church was at the centre of a Civil War skirmish in 1643. Colonel Sir Thomas Aston and Royalist forces took refuge in the church tower but the town was later captured by Sir William Brereton of Handforth, the Parliamentary commander. His relative, Sir William Brereton of Brereton was a Royalist. The church was damaged by cannon fire. At the time of the action, Sir Edward Mosley was captured. He had estates at Rolleston in Staffordshire and in Manchester. He had been made a baronet in 1640. He was released on condition that he took no further part in the war. His estates were sequestered and recovered on payment of £4,874. In other payments and loans he provided the Royalists with about £20,000. He died aged 41 in 1657 and is buried at Didsbury in the Mosley Chapel.

In 1809 the roof of the nave of the church at Middlewich was destroyed. It was replaced at the time but in the late 19th century was replaced again with an oak roof. There was a major restoration in the period 1857-8 during which alterations were made to the north aisle and Kinderton Chapel. The whitewash covered plaster on the interior walls was removed and the exterior walls were refaced.

In Lewins Street is the Victoria Technical Schools and Free Library in red brick and terracotta. It was provided for the town in 1897 by the Brunner family whose enterprise, Brunner Mond, became one of the founding firms of ICI in 1929. It has a series of tableaux showing the youth of Middlewich in 1897 studying arts, science and technology overlooked by an owl representing wisdom.

Sources

St. Michael and All Angels Parish Church, Middlewich, A Brief History and Guide to the Architecture. Pamphlet available in the church, anonymous, price 40 pence in 2001
County Families of Lancashire and Cheshire, by James Croston, M.A., published by John Heywood, Manchester and London, 1887.

 

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Cheshire Antiquities
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