MELLOR

Grid Ref: Church at SJ 981 889
Date: 5th April 2015

Church
The church of St. Thomas, Mellor
East End
View from the East End
The Nave
The Nave and Chancel
Pulpit spacer Font
The Octagonal Pulpit   Norman Font

 

It is a stiff climb up to Mellor Church from the Goyt Valley near Marple but well worth it for the view. When Raymond Richards was writing his book on Cheshire churches he mentioned that Mellor had been in Derbshire until the county boundary changes of 1936 and still fell under the jurisdiction of the bishop of Derby. The parish website now proclaims it part of the Diocese of Chester. It is not the easiest church to photograph as the land falls away steeply on the south side and from the south-west there are trees that obscure the view when the leaves are out. The church was rebuilt in 1829 apart from the medieval tower and although in style it is unremarkable it has two valuable items from the former chapel. The font is late 12th century Norman with a bold carving of a man on horseback. The pulpit is carved from a single block of wood; it is unique in England and Richards states that it is the oldest wooden pulpit in the country. Pulpits were first introduced in the 13th century. The one at Mellor is believed to date from the time of Edward II who reigned from 1307 to 1327. It is octagonal with two sides cut out for the entrance. Of the six remaining sides, five are carved and one plain, presumably because it was not visible. There used to be a three decker pulpit in the middle of the north side of the church but it was removed in 1900. At this time the galleries were also removed; there were galleries on the south and west sides and also an organ gallery at the east end of the nave. When Richards was writing in 1973 there was a chancel screen provided by the Rev. Richard Ewbank intended to be a modern rood screen but it was never completed because of the Great War. There were also quire stalls from Manchester Cathedral which were removed early in the 20th century.

There used to be three bells, one was marked 1615 and one 1639 but all were melted down to cast a single new bell. The parish registers date from 1629. The incumbents are known from John Jones, M.A. in 1660 onwards.

 

The Buildings of England, Cheshire, by Nikolaus Pevsner and Edward Hubbard, Yale University Press, 2003, ISBN 0 300 09588 0
The King's England, Cheshire, by Arthur Mee, 1st edition 1938, fully revised and edited by E. T. Long, Hodder and Stoughton, 1968
Old Cheshire Churches
, with a supplementary survey relating to the lesser Old Chapels of Cheshire, completely revised and enlarged by Raymond Richards, published by E.J. Morten of Didsbury, 1973.

 

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Cheshire Antiquities
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