The village of Audlem straddles the banks of the Shropshire Union Canal in the south of Cheshire, England. It is bounded by the River Weaver to the north west and the villages of Hankelow, Buerton and Coxbank to the north, east and south respectively.
The village square is dominated by the red sandstone church of St James the Great. The Domesday Book's (1086) entry for Audlem (“Aldelime”) refers only to fields, woodland, agriculture and hunting. However, by the late 13th century the church had been founded and Audlem's market charter was granted by Edward I in 1296. In the 21st century Audlem is famous for its association with the Shropshire Union Canal and indeed there is a run of 15 locks close to the village that take the water level down from the Shropshire heights to the Cheshire Plain, some 93 feet (30 metres). With its canal-side pubs and attractive towpath the village is an ideal centre for walking the Cheshire countryside.
St James the Great Church: The church of St James the Great is a typical landmark in the county of Cheshire. The red sandstone church is perpendicular in style and incorporates late 13th century and early 14th century remnants with further 19th century additions and alterations. It consists of an aisled nave, chancel and a north western tower with a south-western porch. The tower has a 19th century clock face, with gargoyles to the angles and a battlemented parapet with crocketed pinnacles at the corners.
Particular items of interest in St James Church are the hundreds of small white marks to be seen on the Chancel walls where soldiers sharpened arrows on the stone before it was used in the building. These marks were probably made about 1350-1400. Other items of note: the 14th century tiles below the west window of the tower; a Roman Funeral Urn (70-90 AD); a 14th century wooden chest adjacent to north wall; a 15th century Font to left of the pulpit; and a blocked up priest's door on outside of south chancel wall.
Shropshire Union Canal: The Shropshire Union Canal runs from the edge of urban Wolverhampton through some of the most under populated areas of England to the River Mersey at Ellesmere Port, about sixty miles in all and takes a leisurely four days to cruise. The section at Audlem sits between the medieval market towns of Market Drayton and Nantwich and is renowned for the run of 15 locks close to the village that take the water level down from the Shropshire heights to the Cheshire Plain, some 93 feet (30 metres). A new Marina at Audlem hopes to benefit from the ever-growing popularity of canal holidays and lifestyles.
Bridge Inn Audlem: Overlooking the Shropshire Union Canal, the Bridge Inn has been completely refurbished throughout and is a fantastic place to dine or drink all year round. The Head Chef has devised a creative menu, which will have everyone's mouths watering, using fresh locally sourced ingredients to produce a constantly changing menu that will reflect the seasons. In the colder months, why not sit in front of the open fire and enjoy a pint of real ale or a glass of wine In the summer you can sit in the conservatory restaurant or on the patio and watch the boats go by. They have a carvery every Sunday, a quiz night every Thursday and a regular music night.
Shroppie Fly: The Shroppie Fly is a unique family friendly country pub set in an idyllic canal side situation in the award-winning village of Audlem. They have a fine selection of cask ales on offer as well as other beers and beverages. Plus, all the food is home cooked to order and served in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. The Shroppie Fly is a unique canal side pub with many different aspects to its character. During the summer months the canal is buzzing with narrow boats and barges making a quiet drink outside the pub a very interesting and often amusing experience! In the winter, there is no better place to have a quiet meal by the large open fire. The Shroppie has a long-standing reputation for live entertainment. They have a free format folk evening every Monday night, very popular with both participating musicians (feel free to join in!) and other customers alike. Most Friday and Saturday nights offer live music ranging from the one-man band to seven piece bands, with a broad offering to suite different music tastes.
Walks, Cycle Trails and Other Activities
South Cheshire Way: The South Cheshire Way passes within a mile or so of Audlem and the Cheshire cycle route cuts through the village itself so there is no shortage of activities within the local area. There are many other footpaths within the area and all can be found on the OS map, and Audlem has published its own map of Parish Paths which can be bought at Williams' (the newsagents) and the Audlem Post Office. With its canal-side pubs and attractive towpath the village is an ideal centre for walking the Cheshire countryside.