St Margaret's Church, Wrenbury

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St Margaret's Church, Wrenbury

St Margaret's Church, Wrenbury overlooks the village green of Wrenbury, Cheshire, England. The church has been designated by English Heritage as a Grade II* listed building. It is an active Anglican parish church in the diocese of Chester, the archdeaconry of Macclesfield and the deanery of Nantwich. Its benefice is combined with those of St Michael's, Baddiley and St Mary's and St Michael's, Burleydam.


This was originally a chapel of ease to St Mary's Church, Acton. The present church dates from the early 16th century with alterations and additions in the 18th and 19th centuries; the nave and porch were restored in 1794, the chancel was rebuilt in 1806 and restored in 1865.


The church is built of red sandstone ashlar with a tile roof. Its plan consists of a west tower, a five-bay clerestoried nave with narrow aisles, a chancel, and a south porch. The tower is embattled with pinnacles at the corners. The west door has been converted into a window and above this is another, three-light, window. The upper bell openings are of two lights, and protruding from the southeast angle is a stair turret climbing to the roof of the tower.


The tie-beam roof of the nave, which includes bosses, dates from the late 16th century. The nave contains box pews, many of them having the arms of local families on their doors. The pew nearest the door was for the dog whipper who, in addition to controlling dogs in the church, had the duty of waking those who fell asleep during the sermon. The pulpit is early Georgian, and the west gallery dates from the late 18th century. The parish chest is in the tower, it is over 6 feet (2 m) long, and is secured by 14 iron straps. The elaborate brass chandelier was presented to the church in 1839. The font is made from sandstone. In the church are monuments to the Cotton family of Combermere Abbey and the Starkey family of Wrenbury Hall, the most important being the monument to Sir Stapleton Cotton, 1st Viscount Combermere. There are also wooden memorial tablets to Lawrence Starkey dated 1611 and George Cotton dated 1702. The organ was built by Charles Whiteley of Chester in 1884 and renovated by the same firm in 1984. The ring consists of six bells. The oldest bells date from 1610 and 1666, one bell dated 1861 is by John Warner and Sons, and the remaining three were cast in 1902 by John Taylor and Company. The parish registers begin in 1593 and the churchwardens' accounts in 1771.

External features

In the churchyard is a cast iron gravestone dating from the middle of the 19th century. The railings, gates and gatepiers to the churchyard are listed Grade II, as is a cottage in the churchyard.