DARESBURY

Grid Ref: SJ 580 828
25 May 2002 & 21 April 2010

All Saints spacer North Arcade
All Saints, Daresbury   North Arcade
All Saints   Nave
All Saints   Nave
Lady Chapel window   Mad Hatter
Window in Daniel Chapel   Mad Hatter's Tea Pary
Pulpit   White Rabbit
Pulpit of 1625   White Rabbit
Font   Font
Old font in churchyard   Font near door

 

In the 12th century there was a chapel on this site belonging to Norton Priory. After the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the chapel came under the control of Christ Church, Oxford. A stone church was built about 1550. The oldest part of the current church is the tower, dating from that time. The rest of the church was entirely rebuilt between 1870 and 1872 in Gothic Revival Style. A few furnishings from the earlier church remain, such as the pulpit.

The church is a magnet for visitors because of its association with Lewis Carroll the author of 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland'. He was born Charles Lutwidge Dodgson on 27 January 1832, the third of eleven children of Charles Dodgson, a minister at Daresbury from 1827 to 1843. Charles Dodgson was appointed rector of Croft in Yorkshire in 1843. The parsonage at Daresbury was destroyed by fire in 1883.

The window in the Daniell chapel was designed by Geoffrey Webb and illustrates a nativity scene with Lewis Carroll and Alice at the extreme left. The small panels at the bottom illustrate some of Carroll's best loved characters including the White Rabbit, Dodo and Duchess. The face of the Cheshire Cat is between the King and Queen of Hearts in the lower right panel. The lower left panel has an inscription between the White Rabbit and the Dodo "In memory of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) Author of Alice in Wonderland.

Sir Peter Leicester, the historian, noted that Daresbury was in the fee of the Baron of Halton and was held by a family called Daresbury, of unknown origin, in the time of Henry III.  Margery Daresbury married Henry le Norreys who was reported to be Lord of Daresbury in 1291.  Henry Le Norreys' granddaughter Clementia married William Danyers, son and heir of Sir John Danyers of Daresbury in 1344 and manor of Daresbury then remained in this family, later called Daniell or Daniels until the time of Sir Peter's writing in 1666.  Ormerod notes that this situation continued until the death of John Daniell Esq., in 1736.  Having only daughters, John Daniell bequeathed the estate to his brother, Edward, and after being mortgaged for a time to the Aston family the estate was sold by Edward's son, John Daniel, in about 1755 to George Heron, Esq. the father of Rev. George Heron MA. He in turn sold it to the Chadwick family who were the proprieters at the time of Ormerod's writing in the early 19th century.

The second edition of Ormerod's history was in the 1870s and it notes that the church had been rebuilt and the advowson purchased by Sir Gilbert Greenall, Bart., MP. The church had recently been separated from that at Runcorn to form an independent parish.

On the south wall is a white marble monument by the English sculptur, John Gibson, RA, working in Rome, which shows a husband mourning over the body of his young wife. It commemorates Sarah, the wife of Henry Byrom of Liverpool, who was married in April 1832 and died in childbirth the following February, aged 27.

The Daniell Chapel contains memorials to the Chadwick family of Daresbury Hall who were buried in the church before the rebuilding in the 1870s.

There are also monuments to members of the Greenall family, which came to prominence through brewing and then bought land at Walton and built Walton Hall. One is to Mary, wife of Gilbert Greenall, Esq., MP, of Walton Hall, born 8 June 1805 and died 4 December 1861 and a second is to Richard Greenall, MA, Archdeacon of Chester for 36 years and incumbent of the nearby church of Stretton. He was born 11 May 1806 and died 27 November 1867. The latter monument was erected by his brother, Gilbert Greenall of Walton Hall.

In the church there are three monuments to members of the Heron family, one of which is shown below. It was General Peter Heron's grandfather, George Heron, who purchased the manor of Daresbury. The family lived at Moore Hall in the nearby village of Moore. A brass on the chancel floor is in memory of General Peter Heron and Catherine his wife, placed there by their daughter, Catherine, in 1804. The Heron tomb is in the churchyard near the tower.

 

Heron Memorial

 

Sources:

The Parish Church of All Saints Daresbury, Cheshire County Council, 1987, available at the church.
Ormerod's History of Cheshire, 2nd edition, 1882.

 

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Cheshire Antiquities
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