CHEDDLETON

Grid Ref: SJ 971 524
17 October 2003.

St. Edward's spacer Nave
St. Edward's tower   The Nave looking very colourful in shafts of sunlight
View from South East   Ceiling
View towards the porch and tower   The painted ceiling
Sedilia   Burne Jones
14th Century sedilia in the chancel   Angels with red wings by Burne Jones

 

St. Edward's at Cheddleton was formerly a chapel-of-ease for St. Edward's at Leek but became a parish church in 1450. The modern entrance to the church is at the west end under the tower. Afternoon sun on an October afternoon created a colourful scene from the stained glass windows, the kneelers, green altar cloth and painted ceiling.

The church shows a mixture of architecture. The north aisle is in the 13th century perpendicular style while the south aisle and chancel are in the decorated style of the 14th century. The reredos is 15th century Flemish work. The south aisle is 15th century. The lower storey of the tower dates from the 14th century but the upper two storeys are Elizabethan with the parapet dated 1574. The south porch is from a similar period.

The church underwent major restoration in the middle of the 19th century with George Gilbert Scott as the architect. He put in the large east window and south aisle windows in the period 1863-4. Scott was responsible for pulpit, the rood screen and the painted ceiling. The entrance to the former rood loft can be seen on the south side of the chancel arch. Many rood lofts were removed at the time of the Reformation or during the Commonwealth and Protectorate period. The Lych Gate was designed by Scott and presented in memory of the Revd. Samuel Bradshaw. He also built a school and library reusing material from an earlier building. The preaching cross in the churchyard was restored by Sir Thomas Wardle in 1860.

William Morris spent some time in Leek as a guest of Thomas Wardle and the influence of the Arts and Crafts Movement is seen in both Leek and Cheddleton.. Thomas Wardle was a churchwarden at St. Edward's in Cheddleton and the church has many decorative features from Morris and his contemporaries. There is stained glass in the church designed by Morris between 1864 and 1869. The angels with ruby wings in the south aisle are by Burne Jones. The window was constructed in memory of Anne, the wife of the Revd. A. F. Boucher, who was vicar from 1852-1882. There is also work by Ford Maddox. An altar frontal by the Leek Embroidery Society of 1890 is displayed at the west end of the north aisle.

Sources:

St. Edward the Confessor, Cheddleton, a one page information sheet available in the church
The Buildings of England, Staffordshire, by Nikolaus Pevsner, Penguin, 1974, ISBN 0 14 071046 9
The Old Parish Churches of Staffordshire, by Mike Salter, Folly Publications, 1996, ISBN 1871731 25 8

 

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