John Douglas is the most famous of Cheshire architects, and his work in Chester and elsewhere is well known.

He learnt his vocation in Lancaster under the acclaimed architect EG Paley, but he never worked far from his birthplace, Sandiway.

He designed 500 buildings in Cheshire, Wales, and North West England.

He worked on Vale Royal Abbey and built and rebuilt much of Great Budworth.

His trademark twisted chimneys can be seen on many buildings, and his list of public buildings, memorials, banks, offices, schools, etc., is extensive.

His best-known work was designing and building churches, 51 that he altered, repaired, and updated.

Five such local churches were St Mary's, Whitegate, St Peter's, Little Budworth, St Mary's, Weaverham, St Mary and All Saints, Great Budworth, and Over St Chads.

Northwich Guardian: St John's Church, OverSt John's Church, Over (Image: Paul Hurley)

Two churches that he worked on not locally were in Edmonton, Middlesex, and Fife, Scotland. The main locations were Lancashire, Staffordshire, Cheshire and North Wales.

His list of new churches built consists of 41 such buildings. Locally the Over Congregational church (the second one he created and not welcomed initially due to its colouring); St Stephen's, Moulton; St John The Evangelist, Sandiway; St John The Baptist at Hartford; and St Paul's at Marston.

Apart from a church in Lockerbie, all were located in Lancashire, Cheshire, Staffordshire, and North Wales. But one is missing here, the very first one he built, St John The Evangelist in Over, now Winsford. So that one is today's Looking Back feature.

In early 1886 Lord Delamere decided to pay for a church at Over; he had the support of the vicars of St Chads, Over, and St Mary Whitegate, who wanted a church to support their parishes.

Lord Delamere provided the primary source of funding for the church and the land it was to be built on, and he dedicated it to his first wife, Sara.

Northwich Guardian: Over Congregational churchOver Congregational church (Image: Paul Hurley)

On Thursday, June 18, 1863, the new church was consecrated and opened.

The Bishop of Chester conducted a ceremony at 11am in the morning. Before this, the church had a 'highly respectable congregation'.

The great and good of the day were present with the Bishop of Chester and a list that included just about all local dignitaries.

The new vicar, the Reverend Edward Woodyat from Oxford, assumed his duties.

Over the inner porch doorway has an inscription that Hugh Baron Delamere built the church in memory of Sarah, (sic) the late Lady Delamere.

Northwich Guardian: The John Douglas plaque on Park CottageThe John Douglas plaque on Park Cottage (Image: Paul Hurley)

The Ecclesiastical Commissioners have allotted the district out of the parishes of Over and Whitegate.

The church was built from Runcorn stone with a 140ft high tower and is now, like most of John Douglas' work, Grade II listed.

Lord Delamere also had the 'commodious' parsonage built for the vicar.

The church was heated by a hot water apparatus provided by Hancock and Son of Fenton, Stoke-on-Trent. The organ was by Bevington of London, the pulpit paid for by Hon TG Cholmondelay, and the font by the Hon & Rev H Pitt Cholmondelay.

The wrought iron communion rail by Sir John Harrington Bart. Notable families paid for the glass for the windows, church plate etc.

The church cost was £5,000 (£803,750.85 today), and it was built by Richard Beckett, builder, and the mason work by John Holland of Northwich.

Northwich Guardian: Over Mill fire monument in churchyardOver Mill fire monument in churchyard (Image: Paul Hurley)

After the service, the members present walked along Delamere Street; to the schoolroom.

There they enjoyed a luncheon followed by speeches. As well as the church being Grade II listed, one of the graveyard's memorials is also.

That memorial is above the grave of the workers who lost their lives in the Over Mill fire.

This tragedy happened on October 27, 1874. The dead included a mother and her three-month-old child.