SHOTWICK

Grid Ref: SJ 336 718
30 March 2003

St. Michael's spacer Nave
St. Michael's from the West   The nave
View from SE   Box Pews
View from the South East   View of the box pews and octagonal pillars
Porch   Pulpit
Grooves in the porch wall from sharpening arrows   The pulpit
Pew   Norman Arch
Churchwardens' pew   The Norman arch under the porch
Shotwick Hall   Cottages
Shotwick Hall, dated 1662   Thatched Cottages

St. Michael's at Shotwick is one of Cheshire's hidden treasures. It lies at the south west side of the Wirral peninsula. As the Dee has silted, the coastline is now further from Shotwick that it was when the church was built and the main channel is now about two miles away. Henry II left from Shotwick for Ireland and Edward I used the port to leave for Wales in 1278. There was a castle at Shotwick but now only the foundations remain. There was a church at Shotwick at the time of the Domesday survey and it was in the possession of the secular canons of St. Werburgh in Chester. It passed to the Benedictine monks who took over the abbey in 1093. Although the church was rebuilt in the 14th century the original Norman arch to the entrance remains, now hidden from the exterior by the porch. The church underwent further restoration in the middle of the 19th century with the replacement of the former single span roof by a double roof covering the nave and aisle. The main part of the structure dates from the late 14th century with the tower, built in the Perpendicular style, dating from about 1500. The church was restored again in the 1970s.

The box pews are believed to be the oldest on the Wirral. The churchwardens' pew has a canopy and the inscription:

Robert Coxson, James Gilbert, Churchwardens: 1709
Henry Gowin: Will. Huntingdon:
Church Wardens
1673

Raymond Richards noted that there were six bells with the three oldest were cast in 1616, 1621 and 1664. Three modern ones were added in the 1930s as a result of the bequest of the Rev. Wansbrough. At that time, the bell of 1664 was found to be cracked and was not recast. The three-decker pulpit without its sounding board is believed to have been in the church since 1812 as evidenced by churchwardens' accounts. The earliest surviving registers date from 1698 and the list of incumbents goes back to 1333.

Sources:

Old Cheshire Churches, with a supplementary survey of the lesser old chapels of Cheshire, completely revised and enlarged by Raymond Richards, published by E. J. Morten, Didsbury, 1973, first published in 1947.
The Buildings of England, Cheshire, by Nikolaus Pevsner and Edward Hubbard, Yale University Press, 2003, ISBN 0 300 09588 0

 

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Cheshire Antiquities
© Craig Thornber, Cheshire, England, UK.  Main Site Address: http://www.thornber.net/

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