Grid Ref. SJ 901 769
5 May 2001 and 27 June 2005 & 25 August 2012


St. Peter's Prestbury from the south   From the South West
Nave   Legh Chapel
The Nave   The Legh Chapel


Prestbury derives its name from the words for priest and burh or burgh the Saxon for a fortified place. In the Anglo Saxon period there were three missionary bases or minsters in Cheshire viz. St. John's Chester, Sandbach and Prestbury.

At the Norman Conquest, the Manor of Prestbury came into the hands of Hugh Lupus, Earl of Chester. The church and manor were given to the abbey of St. Werburgh in Chester in 1153. The Norman chapel was built 1190 and rebuilt about 1750. The door and figures above it are original. The first four feet of the walls are original and the join with the newer masonry can be seen in the photograph below. Of the seven figures above the door some were already missing by 1592 when restoration work was carried out by Meredith of Henbury Hall (East Cheshire Past and Present, Earwaker, 1877). At one stage the chapel was used as a private chapel by the Davenports of Henbury.

In 1589, after the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the church and manor were granted to George Calveley, George Cotton, Hugh Cholmondeley, and Thomas Legh. The first three gave their share of the manor, tithes and advowson to Thomas Legh of Adlington subject to an annual payment to the Dean and Chapter of Chester. The Leghs of Adlington have remained landowners in Prestbury and patrons of the living ever since. The earliest part of the church dates from 1220.  The Downes monuments are shown on the page for Pott Shrigley.

In the centre of the village is a sign showing the Legh crest of a unicorn. A much more highly decorated one can be seen on the screen to the Legh Chapel.

Sadly there is an increasing number of empty premises in the village as business drifts away to Wilmslow and Manchester.

Chapel   Norman Chapel
The Norman Chapel, May 2001   Norman Chapel 2012
Saxon Cross   Typanum
The Saxon Cross   Detail of tympanum
Street scene   Priests' house
Street scene 2012   The Priests' House
Village scene   Village street
Street scene 2012   Street scene 2012
Street scene   Village sign
Priests' House   Village Sign: Arms of Legh of Adlington

During the Commonwealth Period, when many Church of England ministers were expelled from their livings, Presbyterians locked the church. The local minister, appointed by the royalist Leghs of Adlington, preached from the balcony of the Priests' House.

Old Postcard
Norman Chapel at Prestbury
The Village, Prestbury

The first black and white illustration above, of the Norman Chapel at Prestbury, is taken from a Valentine's postcard with a 1942 postmark. The photograph itself may be from the 1920s or 1930s and was spotted by chance in Leek Indoor Market. The picture below is from a postcard without either date or maker's mark, and was found in a flea-market in Hitchin, Herts.


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

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Cheshire Antiquities
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