THIS week, I will feature a look at another of mid Cheshire’s ancient churches, the Parish of St Mary and All Saints’ at Great Budworth.

The Parish itself is the second biggest by area in Cheshire, the biggest being Prestbury. The village features in the Domesday Book as having a resident priest.

In 1130 the church and its living were given to the Augustinian canons of Norton Priory, and the oldest part of the present church is the Lady Chapel that dates from the 14th century.

Northwich Guardian:

When we look at the church tower, minus the damage that was inflicted upon it by the invaders from outer space. Oh, hang on, that was fiction and featured in the recent War of the Worlds series on the TV where Great Budworth was used as the location, with much damage and destruction, all of which has now gone.

The is often said to be one of the most beautiful villages in Cheshire that enjoyed refurbishment during the Victorian period to ensure the preservation of the village.

One of the men responsible for that was the acclaimed Sandiway architect, John Douglas.

Northwich Guardian:

The village of Great Budworth is pleasantly situated on a gentle rise near Pickmere Lake and Budworth-mere and in 1821 the village contained around 500 inhabitants.

As for the church, it is Grade I-listed and is in the list of the ‘best’ English Parish churches by the architectural historian Alec Clifton-Taylor.

Northwich Guardian:

In the respected series of books originally by historian Nicolas Pevsner, ‘Buildings of England’, the church is described as one of the most satisfactory Perpendicular churches in Cheshire and its setting brings its qualities out to perfection.

At one time there was a school in the churchyard that was founded in 1600, by the Reverend John Dean.

In 1857 a new school was built accessed by the cobbled lane at the side of the church.

Northwich Guardian:

Over the years, extensively improvements have been made to the school to provide 21st-century primary education.

My wife’s grandfather was the first police officer to occupy the new police house and station near the church when he was the local beat bobby in the last war.

Northwich Guardian:

The church is an active Anglican parish in the archdeaconry of Chester and the deanery of Great Budworth.

The village stocks are still to be found by the church wall.