SANDON & GAYTON

Grid Ref: SJ 820 350 (Sandon)
12 October 2003 & 8 Oct 2008

Trentham Tower spacer All Saints
The Trentham Belevedere moved to Sandon Park       All Saints, Sandon Park
Moat   War Memorial
Moated site in Sandon Park   War Memorial in Sandon, Oct 2008
Gate   St. Peter's
Gate to Sandon Park, Oct 2008   St Peter's, Gayton

 

Sandon Park is not normally open to the public. The current house was built for the 2nd Earl of Harrowby by William Burn in 1852. An earlier house was destroyed by fire in 1848. One can walk through part of the estate and see the top of the belvedere built by Barry at Trentham. When Trentham was demolished this was moved stone by stone to Sandon but is now in a state of dangerous disrepair. Out of sight, unless the hall is open for some special event, are the Doric column of 1806 commemorating William Pitt and the shrine to Spencer Perceval, the Tory Prime Minister from 1809, who was assassinated on 11 May 1812. He was born in 1762, educated at Harrow and Trinity College, Cambridge and first entered Parliament in 1796.

The church of All Saints at Sandon was not open when I visited. It has a complex outline and Pevsner states that the tower was originally for a nave that in the position of the current south aisle. In the 13th century a narrow north aisle was added to the nave. In about 1300 the current chancel was built and a new nave for which the existing nave became the south aisle. In the early 14th century a new short north aisle was added. In 1851 it was extensively modified to become the family chapel of the Earls of Harrowby.

According to a display board in the porch, the church was founded by the baron of Malbanc. His son is said to have founded Combermere Abbey and later, his son, gave the church at Sandon to the Abbey. Combermere Abbey was founded in 1133 by Hugh de Malbanc, Lord of Nantwich. The vicars of Sandon are known from 1311 when the patron was the bishop of Lichfield but Combermere seems to have been the patron for most of the 14th and 15th centuries. Since the Dissolution the patrons have been the Lords of the Manor. When John Palmer became vicar in 1709 the patron was James Duke of Hamilton. In 1792 George Bonney became vicar and by this time the patronage had moved from the Hamiltons to the Earls of Harrowby. Since 1984 the parish has been part of the United Benefice of Salt & Sandon with Burston and the patrons are now the 6th Earl of Harrowby and Keble College

East of the church across the park one can see a moated manor house site, shown on the OS map, which has a half-timbered structure.

At Sandon village on the A51 (SJ 948 293) there is the War Memorial at the junction with the B5066.  Adjacent to it is the public house 'The Dog & Doublet' built in 1905 and formerly called 'The Pack Horse'.   At the pub you can buy 'A History of Sandon', a 64-page booklet by Robert Selby, published in 1996, detailing the history of the village from the earliest times.  Across the A51 is an entrance to Sandon Park.

St. Peter's at Gayton has a brick tower built in 1732 and the south aisle dates from the 1870s as does the vestry on the north side of the chancel. Inside, there is a Norman chancel arch that has been modified in succeeding centuries. The 15th century north aisle was later removed and the arcade blocked. The south arcade dates from the 13th century. The church was closed when I visited.

Sources:

The Buildings of England, Staffordshire, by Nikolaus Pevsner, Penguin, 1974, ISBN 0 14 071046 9
The Old Parish Churches of Staffordshire, by Mike Salter, Folly Publications, 1996, ISBN 1871731 25 8

 

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