TATTENHALL

Grid Ref: SJ 486 586
Date: 25 March 2015

 

St. Alban's
St. Alban's, Tattenhall, March 2015

 

Church gates spacer Inscription
View through gates   Inscription on one of the gates
Porch   house
The Porch   The Rookery

 

Tattenhall appears in the Domesday Survey of 1086 as Tatenale, a name which may mean the meadow of Tata. The church was given by William Malbedeng the first Baron of Wich-Malbank to the Abbey of St. Werburgh in Chester. William died in 1100 so the first church on the site may have preceded the Norman Conquest. After the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the advowson i.e. the right to appoint the minister, was vested in the Diocese of Chester.

With the exception of the 16th century tower, the church was rebuilt in 1869 by the architect Douglas. When the rebuilding was taking place the remains of a man of great stature were unearthed who appears to have been buried without a coffin. Under him was a coin which local antiquarian Mr. R. G. Orton considered might be an offering to pay the the ferryman across the "Death River". This is similar to the Greek idea that one pays the ferryman Charon to take one across the River Styx. The south porch was added in 1893 to replace an earlier one of 1672. The church registers begin in 1654 and the churchwardens' accounts in 1764. The rectors are known back as far as Richard de Birchel in 1300 but there is some uncertainty about the incumbents during the the period of the Commonwealth and Protectorate.

Raymond Richards notes that the Parliamentary Cavalry was based at Tattenhall during the seige of Chester during the Civil War. He mentions too that masons' marks on the tower are similar to those found at Shotwick, Backford and Handley All Saints, which lies seven miles SE of Chester.

The church gates are an interesting feature with part of the inscription shown above. The right hand gate has an inscription reading " Who after 62 yers devoted service in this parish died 28th January 1917 these gates are erected by his many grateful patients and friends. A.D. 1923."

Just north of the church and visible from the graveyard is The Rookery which Pevsner tells us is early 20th century black and white

There is nearby, but not shown, Tattenhall Hall which is mentioned by Peter de Figueiredo and Julian Treuhertz in Cheshire Country Houses. It is an early example of a brick house in Cheshire. It was built for Richard Bostock, some time before 1622. The windows have stone mullions. During most of the 18th century and the early 19th century it was used a farmhouse before it was purchased and restored by Robert Barbour of nearby Bolesworth Castle, in 1856.

Tattenhall is now best known for the Ice Cream Farm, which has more than half a million visitors a year. At one time you could watch the cows being milked but recent modernisation has removed this educational feature. However, it is worth a considerable diversion to obtain their ice cream which is the best in county which boasts a great dairying heritage.

Sources

Wikipedia site on Tattenhall
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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