St Mary's has a W tower, a very tall clerestoried nave with tall N and S aisles with four-bay arcades, and a square-ended chancel. The chancel is the only one of these elements that is straightforward. It has a five light E window and tall three-light side windows with intersecting Y-tracery, i.e. ofc.1300, and the continuous chancel arch with sunk quadrant mouldings is of the same date. The N arcade is 13thc., with moulded capitals, some decorated with nailhead, and alternating round and octagonal piers. The pier capitals of the S arcade are stylistically earlier, late 12thc., including flat leaves and volutes, but the respond capitals have very complex mouldings and are much later, as are the double-chamfered pointed arches. Furthermore the S arcade is considerably taller than the N, and must have been heightened. The clerestory windows are square-headed triple lights with ogees; a 14thc.-15thc. type convincingly attributed to the early 17thc. by Pevsner. The N aisle windows are 17thc., and the S doorway is ofc.1300. It is protected by a rib-vaulted porch. The lower storey of the W tower is 12thc. with a flat buttress and small round-headed lancets, all chamfered, plain and renewed. The upper storey is Perpendicular with mullioned and transomed bell-openings but a plain parapet with tiny crocketed pinnacles. The tower arch, confusingly, is 14thc. Decorated. In Pevsner's account, the church was practically rebuilt in the early 17thc. using the old elements and this seems the only way to account for the contradictions in the architecture. 19thc. views of the church, inside and out, and the font are available in the William Salt Library, Stafford (see IX Bibliography). The remodelled 12thc. S arcade is described below, as is the most important Romanesque feature in the church; the font.
Checkley was held by Wulfgeat before the Conquest and by Otto, a Thegn of William I, in 1086. It consisted of half a hide of ploughland and woodland one league square. No church was recorded at that date.
The church of Milwich was paying a pension of £1 to Stone Priory by 1291 that continued until the Dissolution.
Uttoxeter area benefice.
|ext. diam. of bowl||0.73 m|
|h. of bowl||0.35 m|
|h. of shaft||0.50 m|
|int. diam. of bowl||0.47 m|