Grid Ref: SJ 742 837
Date: 18 June 2005 & 18 March 2015


St. Mary's at Rostherne, March 2015


Porch   Lych Gate
The Porch   Lych Gate
Cernunnos   Cottages
Cernunnos in 2005   Cottages adjacent to those on the left
Cottages   Alms Houses
Tatton Estate Cottages   Egerton Alms Houses


St. Mary's Rostherne

Sir Peter Leicester in his Historical Antiquities states that at the time of the Norman Conquest, Rostherne was held by Gilbert Venables, Baron of Kinderton, as shown in the Domesday Book. The first known incumbent of Rostherne Church was Hugo de Venables, presented in 1188 under the patronage of William de Venables.  St. Mary's Rostherne was the church used by the Brooke family and the Legh family of East Hall, High Legh and the Leigh family of West Hall, High Legh. The church is probably on the site of pagan worship. The 1800 year old carved head of a water god, Cernunnos, was found within masonry in the 18th century and is now incorporated in a wall behind the church. Sir Peter Leicester noted in the 1670s that the steeple of the church was built in 1533. The steeple fell down one evening in November 1741 and much damage was done to the church. The extent of rebuilding can be seen from examination of the roof which has unusual dormer style windows above the nave. The current tower dates from 1744, built by John Rowson. The church underwent extensive restoration by Sir A. W. Blomfield in 1888.

The Lych gate, dating from 1640, is one of the oldest and best examples in Cheshire. It has a self closing mechanism to keep animals out of the churchyard. A stone coffin can be seen behind the church.

Brooke family monuments, photographed in November 1999 at Rostherne are shown on the page with the family tree. There is also in the church a monument to Lieutenant General Sir Jeremiah Dickson, K.C.B, who fell before Sebastopol on 8 June 1855. At the south end of the village, nearer to Tatton Park, is housing built by the Tatton Estate about 1909-10


The Buildings of England, Cheshire, by Nikolaus Pevsner and Edward Hubbard, Yale University Press, 2003, ISBN 0 300 09588 0
The King's England, Cheshire, by Arthur Mee, 1st edition 1938, fully revised and edited by E. T. Long, Hodder and Stoughton, 1968
Old Cheshire Churches, with a supplementary survey relating to the lesser Old Chapels of Cheshire, completely revised and enlarged by Raymond Richards, published by E.J. Morten of Didsbury, 1973.

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