The parish Church of St Mary is located in the heart of Nantwich, Cheshire. Although there has been a church on the site since at least 1050 the present building dates from 1380 and was built in the decorated style. Over the next hundred and fifty years or so additions were made in the Perpendicular style. It is acknowledged one of the finest medieval town churches in England and is known by many as the Cathedral of South Cheshire with the fine octagonal tower being a feature for miles around.
Items of interest within the church include:
• the rare 14th Century stone pulpit
• the splendid 14th Century Chancel with its "lierne" vaulting
• the unusual bread oven
• the strange stone carvings
• the library with rare 17th Century books
• the breathtaking Jubilee curtain
• the fine collection of kneelers
• the exquisite Choir Stalls with intricate carvings and canopies
St Mary’s has twenty late 14th century misericords with a variety of
weird and wonderful carvings including: a Devil pulling a woman’s mouth
open for lying; St George and the dragon; a man taking cock to a
cockfight; a woman in widow’s neck cloth reading a book; a begging dog; a
dragon attacking a winged figure emerging from conch shell; Samson
riding a lion; a woman beating man with ladle; - and a dog with his head
in a stew pot!
The English Civil war was less than kind to St Mary’s as it was used as a
prison and sustained quite a lot of damage, and by the 19th century the
fabric of the church was in a parlous state, so in 1854 Sir George
Gilbert Scott was called in to head up a major restoration project.
Today St Mary's Church has a dedicated team of specialist tour guides
who are able to escort visiting parties around the church and point out
features of interest.
All visiting parties to St Mary's will
immediately feel the warmth and balance of not only, a physical church,
but a living church.