Today, I will feature St Mary and All Saints Parish at Great Budworth.

The parish is the second biggest by area in Cheshire, the most prominent 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 which dates from the 14th century.

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 and as for the church.

When we look at the church tower, minus the damage inflicted upon it by the invaders from outer space.

Northwich Guardian: Great Budworth church when the old gravestones were newGreat Budworth church when the old gravestones were new (Image: Paul Hurley)

Oh, hang on, that was fiction and featured in the 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 village has returned to its place as 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.

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: View from Great Budworth church towerView from Great Budworth church tower (Image: Paul Hurley)

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. Over the years, extensive 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 known locally as Bobby Blyth.

Northwich Guardian: Great Budworth church and schoolGreat Budworth church and school (Image: Paul Hurley)

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.