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St Oswald, Lower Peover, Cheshire

(53°15′51″N, 2°23′12″W)
Lower Peover
SJ 743 742
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Cheshire
now Cheshire West and Chester
  • Ron Baxter

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Feature Sets

A spectacular and important timber church with a stone W tower, said to be of 1582 (see Pevsner) but probably earlier. The aisled nave (13th-14thc.) is of four bays, and the slightly lower chancel of two, all timber work with box pews. The nave aisles continue alongside the chancel, the N aisle dating from 1624 and the S from c.1610. They now house an organ loft and vestry to the N and the Shakerley Chapel to the S. The three vessels have separate roofs, built by Salvin in his restoration of 1852, but originally the nave and its aisles shared a single roof. The church was founded in 1269, hence none of the fabric is 12thc. What is at issue is the font, said to have been brought from Norton Priory in 1322.


The Domesday Survey describes Lower Peover in 1086 as a small vill, waste and woodland, held by William fitzNigel from Earl Hugh. The church was built in 1269 by Richard Grosvenor of Hulme Hall as a chapel of ease to Great Budworth.

Formerly chapel of ease to Great Budworth.





The font is a puzzle. The mouldings are not convincing as Romanesque work, yet the standard of precision and the simplicity of form make a later date unsatisfactory.


N. Pevsner and E. Hubbard, The Buildings of England. Cheshire. Harmondsworth 1971 (repr. 1978), 258-59.

R. Richards, Old Cheshire Churches. London 1947, 200-04.