FORTON

Grid Ref: SJ 755 212
28 May 2005

All Saints spacer Nave
All Saints, Forton   The Nave
Tomb   North arcade
Alabaster Tomb   View into Nave from North Aisle
Tomb   Font
Five Sons   The Font of 1723
Forton Hall   Roll of Service
Forton Hall, with date stone 1665   Forton Roll of Service

One's first view of All Saints at Forton shows the contrast between the tower and the Georgian nave. The nave and the north arcade shown in my photographs were built in 1723. The north and east walls of the chancel date from about 1200 and the rest of the north aisle from 14th century. The lower section of the tower was built in 13th century while the upper section was added about 1500. The most prominent monument is the alabaster tomb of Thomas Skrymsher, knight of Aqualate and his wife, Anne, the daughter of Ralph Sneyd of Keele. He died in 1633 and his wife in 1656. The effigy shows him with his head on a helmet. On the side of the tomb there are images of five sons, shown in my photographs and there are four daughters facing them. The inscription is difficult to read in the church but from a flash photograph the following can be read:

Here lyeth y body of Sr Thomas Skrymsher knight one of his Ma(jesty's) Justices of Peace and Quorum for this countie of Stafford, Lord of this manor & patron of this church who dyed the 13th day of July Anno Domini 1633.

Aqualate Hall (not shown) was built for Edwin Skrymsher in the early seventeenth century. In the 18th century it was acquired by Sir George Boughey who had it rebuilt by John Nash in the Gothic style in 1808. The house burned down in 1910 and was rebuilt between 1927 and 1930.

The church has a number of monuments to members of the Boughey family of Aqualate, of which I note a few below:

Anchitel Fenton Fletcher Boughey, a major in the 81st Regiment who died at Umritsir (Amritsar) India on 8 April 1856

The east window in the north aisle was given in memory of Sir Francis Boughey, Baronet, 1848-1927.

From the Great War is a monument to Alfred Fletcher Coplestone-Boughey a commander in the Royal Navy who went down in H.M.S. Defence at the Battle of Jutland on 31 May 1916 aged 33; John Fletcher Boughey, a private in the Queen's Royal West Surrey Regiment, missing near Ypres, 4 October 1917 aged 35 and Anchitel Edward Fletcher Boughey, a lieutenant in the Rifle Brigade, lost in the sinking of the SS Leinster off Ireland on 10 October 1918 aged 26.

From the Second World War there is a monument to John Fletcher Boughey, 2nd lieutenant in the 2nd Battalion Coldstream Guards, killed in action at sea on 31 August 1940 aged 21; David Mervyn Boughey Druce, pilot officer in the RAF, killed over Tobruk on 15 October 1940 aged 22 and Mary Ursula Boughey, a junior commander in the Auxilliary Territorial Service, Field Army Nursing Yeomanry, who died on active service on 20 January 1945 aged 25.

Forton hall adjoins the church on the west side. It bears the date 1665 on its porch. There are a number of estate properties in the village of similar style.

Sources:

The Old Parish Churches of Staffordshire, by Mike Salter, Folly Publications, first edition 1989, reprinted 1996, ISBN 1 871731 03 8
There is now a short Wikipedia article on Forton and one on the Vision of Britain site.

 

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