Michael & All
Angels, Macclesfield & The Church House, Sutton
April 15th 2009, thirty happy souls made their way in fine weather to
St Michael &
All Angels in Macclesfield. The
church has been located in the Market Place since 1278 and is
therefore known locally as The Church In The Market Place.
changes have taken place over the years, thanks to the generosity of
'the great and the good' of the town. Major additions such as the Legh
Chapel (1442) and the Savage Chapel (1502) where the heart of Thomas
Savage, Archbishop of York, was reputedly enclosed in the walls even
though his body was buried at York Minster.
The first class of
the Kings School was founded in a small upper room of the church, in
1502, where the school master slept. The church also boasts of having
the only peal of 12 bells in the county with a tenor bell weighing some
A re-ordering of the church was completed in 2004, to allow for more
flexible use of the building.
Thank you to Rev. David Wightman for an enjoyable and informative tour.
group then drove to The Church House in the village of Sutton for light
refreshment. A very pleasant time was had by all. Thanks to
Reynolds for arranging.
Should anyone be interested in borrowing the précis version
‘The Story of Macclesfield Parish Church’, please
3rd. St Mary the Virgin, Clumber
30 members visited the Chapel of St Mary in Clumber Park now
the National Trust. We were met by Danielle Brown, Chapel Steward and
our guide for the visit. The chapel along with the stables are now the
only original buildings left on the estate,formerly owned by the Dukes
of Newcastle. Clumber House itself was demolished in 1938 and the
estate acquired by NT in 1946.
The 7th Duke,a devout Anglo Catholic commissioned George Frederick
Bodley the leading Church designer of Victorian times to design
build Clumber Chapel in 1886. It took 3 years & the 2 men
eventually quarrelled over the cost which escalated to more than
£40000 from an original estimate of £30000. Because
quarrel the work was completed by others but Bodley continued to regard
Clumber as his finest creation.
The style is English Gothic with the distinctive 180 ft spire modelled
on Patrington Church in East Yorkshire. Inside, the chancel is almost
as long as the nave but considerably grander, a church definitely built
for a rich family and their estate workers. Both the east and west
stained glass windows are outstanding, the work of C E Kempe a favoured
artist of the Anglo Catholic movement.
The choir stalls, made of walnut and cedar, have superb carvings of
sacred emblems,saints and texts. They are the work of the
Ernest Geldhart, a very talented gentleman: he took holy orders
combined the work of a priest with that of an ecclesiastical craftsman.
Very high in a tribune on the north side of the choir is the organ, a
three manual instrument by Gray & Davison & recently
The north transept contains the only object not originally designed for
Clumber Chapel. The tomb of Georgina, wife of the 4th Duke
died after giving birth to twins, was moved here in 1965 following a
break-in at its original site 5 miles away. In the baptistry the font
is enclosed by a magnificent cedarwood cover carved with panels
representing the seven sacraments.
All in all a most interesting visit & we will be able to
Clumber with another Bodley Church – Hoar Cross when we visit
Afterwards we had lunch in the NT restaurant and then a look around the
estate which includes a walled kitchen garden complete with Palm House
September - Visit to
Holy Angels, Hoar
Angels is a memorial church to Hugo, the husband of Emily Meynell
Ingram, daughter of Lord Halifax, who was killed in a hunting accident.
The church is in the grounds of the old hall which is now a
flourishing health spa.
As we parked alongside the church, built in sandstone and designed by
the Victorian architect G F Bodley, the tower contrived to soar above
us despite its lack of a spire.
Unusually, it faces north/south and inside is all Victorian high gothic
with all the trimmings. The nave is quite gloomy but what
takes the eye are the 14 stations of the cross superbly crafted in
relief by Belgian wood carvers. The chancel is taller than
the nave, vaulted and lit by lofty stained glass windows and lined with
panelling and saints. The stone reredos is magnificent.
The private chapel contains the tombs of Hugo and Emily both on
alabaster chests with dogs at their feet.
Our guide for the visit, Derrick Cross, took us into the vestry
& showed us the superb original vestments carefully stored in
Emily was staunchly Anglo-Catholic so he also showed us the cleverly
concealed Confessional box.
Although the church is undoubtedly a memorial, we were pleased when
Derrick (a very knowledgeable 91 year old) told us weekly Sunday
services are held there. It would be a shame if such a
masterpiece of gothic revival was not worshipped in today.
Afterwards we had refreshments in the Goats Head, a 16th century inn in
Abbots Bromley with real ale and excellent lunches on offer.