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Church of St Mary the Virgin

A Grade I Listed Building in Acton, Cheshire East

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Latitude: 53.0738 / 53°4'25"N

Longitude: -2.5511 / 2°33'4"W

OS Eastings: 363173

OS Northings: 353089

OS Grid: SJ631530

Mapcode National: GBR 7R.BBV8

Mapcode Global: WH9B3.SZCZ

Plus Code: 9C5V3CFX+GH

Entry Name: Church of St Mary the Virgin

Listing Date: 12 January 1967

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1330112

English Heritage Legacy ID: 56928

ID on this website: 101330112

Location: St Mary's Church, Acton, Cheshire East, Cheshire, CW5

County: Cheshire East

Civil Parish: Acton

Traditional County: Cheshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cheshire

Church of England Parish: Acton St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Chester

Tagged with: Church building English Gothic architecture

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SJ 65 SW
Church of St.Mary the
12 January 1967


Parish church. Lower section of west tower, including three internal
arches C13, north aisle windows C14, elsewhere the church has a mainly
C15 appearance. Restorations in C17 and C18 also in 1897-8 by Paley
and Austin (Pevsner). Red sandstone with lead roof. Single bay
beneath tower, 4-bay nave and 3-bay chancel. The lower section of the
square west tower has a pair of oak doors, each of three vertical
panels, hung on decorative wrought-iron strap hinges in a Gothic
headed opening. The angles of the tower have clasping buttresses and
in the south-west buttress a small door gives access to the
bell-chamber steps. The windows in the lower part of the tower are
narrow lancets but the top of the tower fell in 1757 and the
intersecting tracery of the bell-chamber windows and blind arcading,
in early Gothic Revival Style, date from the restoration by William
Baker of Audlem. There are angle buttresses to the aisles and
buttresses between windows. The chancel and south aisle windows are
Perpendicular whereas the north aisle windows have C14 cusped
intersecting tracery. The clerestory windows are Gothic Revival and
date from the 1879 restoration. The south nave entrance is surmounted
by an ogee arch, in C14 style, but the north nave entrance opposite
appears to be C13. The chancel open-work parapet and gable cresting
is a striking C17 restoration and the nave solid parapet, with
crocketed pinnacles, set at an angle and supported by corbels with
faces, is also unusual. A recess in the north chancel wall contains a
headstone of a parishioner from Cholmondeston, dated 1671.

Interior: The west tower entrance leads into a narthex flanked and
fronted by C13 tower arches. The south arch leads to a chapel, the
north to the vestry and east, which has a small dog tooth mould to
north capital, leads to the nave. The nave has 4-bay arcades with
octagonal C13 piers and late C19 capitals. The chancel arch, which is
moulded to floor level, is C14. The chancel floor is stone slabs set
in a diamond pattern. The reredos has the Ten Commandments north
of the altar and the Lord's Prayer and Creed south. The Communion
Rail has splat balusters and there is Jacobean Oak dado panelling,
once part of a rood screen, between the communion rail and the choir;
this has a gate with arch and strapwork motifs. The C19 choir stalls
are in matching Jacobean style. The chancel stained glass east window
is of 1886 by Kempe. In the south wall of the chancel there is a
single sedile with cusped ogee arch. The carved oak pulpit, on stone
base, and oak eagle lectern are C19. In the north aisle there is a
recessed tomb-chest, with elaborate stone panelling and shields, and
an alabaster effigy of Sir William Mainwaring, who died 1399. In the
south aisle there is a black, white and grey marble tomb chest
supporting recumbent effigies of Sir Richard Wilbraham, who died 1643,
and his wife who died 1660. There is a good tablet memorial to Mary
Wilbraham, who died 1632, in the south-west chapel. There are a
number of good wall memorials in the chancel. The upper section of
the round font, at the west end of the nave, is Norman. It has
alternate flower and figure decorations. There are also a number of
carved Norman stones at the east end of the south aisle. The nave has
a late C19 barrel ceiling the trusses of which have short posts off
level tie beams with end brackets and stone corbels. The chancel
ceiling is sinmilar to that of the nave but has more decorative

Listing NGR: SJ6317253089

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