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St Michael and All Angels Church, Middlewich
Middlewich - St Michaels2.jpg
St Michael and All Angels Church, Middlewich,
from the southeast
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OS grid reference SJ 703 662
Location Middlewich, Cheshire
Country England
Denomination Anglican
Website St Michael and All Angels, Middlewich
Status Parish church
Dedication St Michael and All Angels
Functional status Active
Heritage designation Grade II*
Designated 5 December 1986
Architectural type Church
Style Norman, Perpendicular
Materials Red sandstone
Deanery Middlewich
Archdeaconry Chester
Diocese Chester
Province York

St. Michael and All Angels is the parish church for the town of Middlewich in Cheshire, England. It stands at the junction of the A54 and A533 roads. The church is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade II* listed building. It is an active Anglican parish church in the diocese of Chester, the archdeaconry of Chester and the deanery of Middlewich. Its benefice is combined with that of St John, Byley. In 1947 the architectural historian Raymond Richards described the church as "the one building, in a depressing town, which is mellow and dignified".


Parts of the church date from the 12th century, possibly the lower portion of the tower, but more likely the narrow arcade of the east bay. Most of the church was built during the period between about 1480 and 1520 when the nave clerestory was added, new windows were inserted, the Lady chapel was built at the east end of the south aisle and a two-storey porch was added to the south side. In the following century the Kinderton chapel was added at the east end of the north aisle. The church was damaged during the Civil War, particularly during the First Battle of Middlewich in March 1643, when the Royalists used it as a place of sanctuary. In 1801 restorations were carried out, including moving the Venables screen into the tower. In 1857 a window was added to the memory of John Hulse. In 1857–60 the north aisle and Kinderton chapel were remodelled by Joseph Clarke. This was a part of a general remodelling of the church, which included removing the whitewash from the interior of the church to reveal the sandstone appearance seen today.



The church is built of sandstone and is mainly Perpendicular in style. The plan of the church consists of a tower at the northwest, a four-bay nave with a clerestory, broad north and south aisles, a two-bay chancel and a south porch. At the east end of the north aisle is the Kinderton chapel, built in the 16th century, and at the east end of the south aisle is a chapel which was formerly a Lady chapel.


The timber roof of the chancel was originally built by Sir William Brereton in 1621. This was replaced in 1951 with a design copying the original. The Kinderton Chapel (also known as the Bostock Chapel) is now used as the rector's vestry, and it contains the oldest monument in the church, a brass dated 1591 in memory of Elizabeth Venables, wife of Baron Kinderton. A Jacobean screen with the carved arms of the Venables family was originally at the entrance to the Kinderton chapel but is now inside the tower. The organ was built in 1908 by Conacher and radically rebuilt in 1964 by Rushworth and Dreaper. There is a ring of eight bells. Three of these were cast in 1711 by Rudhall of Gloucester, one bell was cast in 1841 by Thomas Mears II at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, and the other four are dated 1897 by John Taylor and Company. The parish registers begin in 1604 and the churchwardens' accounts in 1636.

External features

In the churchyard is a sundial probably dating from the late 18th century. It consists of a vase baluster on a circular stone step on brick base. The copper dial has a date which is illegible and the gnomon is broken. It is designated as a Grade II listed building.

Priests and Vicars of Middlewich

~1200 Warin   1342 John de Leysthorp   1429 Thomas Thikenes
~1250 Thomas   1349 John Bele   1459 John Heynes
1306 Richard Tuchet   1352 John Folvill   1484 John Bressnel
1329 John de Offord   1361 Thomas Fraunceys   1494 William Sutheworthe
1330 Andrew de Offord   1402 John Tochet
1504 William Bithewaithe   1695 William Handford   1877 Francis Minton
1504 John Fornebye   1702 John Cowper   1902 Hesketh France Hayhurst
1525 Amerus Burdet   1719 John Cartwright   1904 Arthur Gascoigne Child
1563 John Knightley   1731 John Swinton   1921 Wilfrid Rawton Ingham
1568 Peter Presland   1737 Robert Moreton   1937 Albert William Harrison-Harlow MC
1580 William Kinsey   1780 William Kyffin   1947 George Richardson Kemp
1616 Robert Halliley   1787 Joshua Powell   1952 Leslie Edgar Evans
1646 Thomas Langley*   1797 William Henry Heron   1957 Laurence Roy Ridley
1647 Matthew Clayton*   1811 James Stringer   1969 Eric Alexander Owen
1662 Lawrence Griffith   1819 Isaac Wood   1971 Eric William Cox
1680 Thomas Faulkner   1864 Henry Goodwin  

*denotes joint ministers


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