Formerly known as Church Hulme

Grid Ref. 762674
17 June 2005 & 11 October 2010


St. Luke's   Nave
St. Luke's, Holmes Chapel, 2005   The nave, 2005
church   nave
View from the South East   The nave from the west gallery
organ   gallery
The organ and west gallery   The south gallery


A two-page pamphlet is available in the church giving a brief history of St. Luke's. It is thought that a Saxon church may once have stood on this site, at the junction of two roads.

Holmes Chapel, or Church Hulme as it was then called, was granted permission to erect a chapel in 1245. It was a chapel of ease to the parish church of Sandbach. At that time Sandbach and Holmes Chapel were part of the estate of the Cistercian Abbey of Dieulacres in Leek. The abbey controlled the vicar of Sandbach who in turn appointed the curate of Holmes Chapel.

The original wooden building was extended in 1430, probably to create a half timbered black and white building. St. Luke's is the longest timber framed church in Cheshire. The sandstone tower was built during improvements in the 15th and 16th centuries. The Needham family of Cranage Hall and the Winningtons of the Hermitage may have provided funds and the chapel in the south aisle was used by the latter family.

In 1705 the outside walls were removed and replaced by brick but the uprights and beams remained in situ. In addition a west gallery was built. The timber ceiling was hidden by arched plaster ceilings to improve the acoustics at a time when sermons became important. (The ceiling was uncovered again in the 1930s.) This work was funded by the ironmaster Thomas Hall who lived at the Hermitage. He also provided the brass chandelier hanging in the nave in 1708. There are seven bells, five date from 1706 and two from 1858.

St. Luke's survived the great fire of 1753 which destroyed most of the village. The clock dates from 1841. There were formerly box pews in the nave but they were replaced in 1878. The stained glass in the east window was provided in memory of the men of Holmes Chapel lost in the Great War.

Further details on Holmes Chapel and the land owners in the areas are given on my page about the Armitsteads.


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Cheshire Antiquities
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