|St. Mary's, Tilston 2015|
|Tilston, 2015||"Memento Mori" gateposts of 1687|
|Church Cross||Carden Arms|
Raymond Richards, in Old Cheshire Churches relates that St. Mary's was extensively restored in the late 19th century. With the exception of the tower and the Stretton chapel on the north side, it amounted to a complete rebuilding. The Stretton Hall Chapel dates from 1659 but there was a church on the site at least as early as the time of Henry III (1216-72). The tower is 16th century and has three storeys with a string course below the belfry windows. It also incorporates a west door. The church is unusual in having the doors on the south side blocked off and the main entrance is now on the north side.
The gate from the road is at the west end of the churchyard and has interesting stone gateposts. On the west side of the posts there is the date of 1687 and the initials LP and LL. On the south side of the posts there are skull and crossbone symbols, as shown in the photograph, whereas on the east side is the inscription Memento Mori. The church registers begin in 1558 and the churchwardens' accounts in 1688. The list of known rectors begins in 1301.
Returning in 2015, I was disappointed to find a bright blue portable toilet against the south side of the tower, which called either for shooting from behind a bush or judicious editing.
Old Cheshire Churches, with a supplementary survey of the lesser old chapels of Cheshire, completely revised and enlarged by Raymond Richards, first published in 1947 and reprinted by E. J. Morten, Didsbury, 1973.