St Wilfrid's Church, Davenham

St Wilfrid's Church, Davenham is in the village of Davenham, 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 Chester and the deanery of Middlewich.

History

A church on the site was recorded in the Domesday Book. A later church was built in the 14th century and its chancel was rebuilt in 1680 and again in 1795. The present church dates from 1842–44 when the whole church, other than its tower and steeple, was demolished and replaced by a larger building, designed by the Lancaster architect Edmund Sharpe. During this rebuilding, the tower was found to be insecure, but it remained in place until it was struck by lightning on 16 July 1850. The new tower was designed by Sharpe and his partner at the time, E. G. Paley. The chancel and transepts date from 1870 by the later partners in the practice, Paley and Austin.

Architecture
Exterior

The church is built in red sandstone ashlar with a slate roof. Its plan consists of a west tower, a five-bay nave with a clerestory, north and south aisles, a chancel with a north vestry and a south chantry chapel, and a southwestern porch. The tower has an octagonal spire with three tiers of lucarnes.

Interior

In the chancel is a two-arched sedilia. The reredos contains an alabaster relief depicting The Last Supper. Monuments are to Mrs France who died in 1814 by S. and F. Franceys of Liverpool and to Mrs Harper dated 1833 by Francesco Pozzi of Florence with a relief of a mother and child. In the south aisle is a war memorial by Sir Robert Lorimer. The church plate includes a cup dated 1570 and a stand paten dated 1707. The ring consists of six bells. Four of these, dated 1757, 1761 (2), and 1765 are by Rudhall of Gloucester and a bell dated 1826 is by Thomas Mears II of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry. The sixth bell, which is undated, is by William Noone.

External features

In the churchyard is a table tomb to the memory of William Worthington of Leftwich, a merchant who died in 1808, and members of his family. It is listed Grade II. Also listed Grade II is the lych gate which dates from the late 19th century, and was designed by E. G. Paley.