St Michael's Church, Shotwick

St Michael's Church, Shotwick is in the village of Shotwick, Cheshire, England. It has been designated by English Heritage as a Grade I listed building. It has a Norman doorway but most of the church dates from the medieval period. Its furniture includes some ancient items. In the churchyard are a number of structures which have been listed as Grade II. The church is an active Anglican parish church in the diocese of Chester, the archdeaconry of Chester and the deanery of Wirral South. Its benefice is combined with that of St Nicholas, Burton.


A Norman church was in existence at the time of the Domesday Book and was largely rebuilt in the 14th century. Restorations were carried out in 1851 and in the 1970s.


The church is built from red sandstone, the chancel and porch are roofed with Welsh slate while the rest of the roof is covered in purple tiles. The south doorway is Norman in style, decorated with chevrons but rather obscured by a porch of later date. The porch contains stone benches and on its walls are knife-sharpening slots. The tower is Perpendicular in style, and dates from around 1500. The plan of the church consists of a tower at the west end in line with a nave of four bays and a chancel of three bays. There is a north aisle with a chapel at the west end extending as far as the chancel.


All the pews are box pews and are the oldest in Wirral; at one time their doors were fitted with locks and keys. In the north aisle is a canopied churchwardens' pew dated 1709 and a three-decker pulpit. The altar rails date from the late 17th or early 18th century and the lectern from the late 18th century. It has been said that much of this wooden furniture was moved from a church in Chester in 1812. Some of the windows contain 14th-century stained glass. The brass chandelier dates from the late 18th century. The parish registers date from 1698. The ring consists of six bells. The oldest two bells by William Clibury are dated 1616 and 1621. The other four bells were cast in 1938 by John Taylor and Company.

External features

In the churchyard the gates, gatepiers and churchyard wall along north side of Shotwick Lane are Grade II listed buildings. Also listed Grade II are the red sandstone sundial consisting of a tall bulbous baluster on square base dated 1720, and the tombchests of James Phillips, John Nevett Bennett, Rev M. Reay and four children, Robert and Martha Ellison, William Briscoe (died 1704) and others, and William Briscoe (died 1723) and others.


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