We use cookies to improve your experience, some are essential for the operation of this site.

St Mary, Thornton-le-Moors

(53°15′55″N, 2°50′22″W)
SJ 441 746
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Cheshire
now Cheshire West and Chester
medieval St Helen
now St Mary
  • James Cameron
12 May 2018

Please use this link to cite this page - https://www.crsbi.ac.uk/view-item?i=3565.

Find out how to cite the CRSBI website here.

Feature Sets

The church has a nave with a S aisle, and a two-bay chancel with a Decorated E window, with a Perpendicular Style full-length S chapel. Unusually the tower is built inside the S aisle. There is a small lapidarium collection at the W end of the nave, consisting of a late 9th or early 10thc cross shaft and a small decorated bowl dated 1573. The only Romanesque material is a pillar piscina.


The settlement appears in the Domesday Book, with a taxable value of two geld units. Untypically, a church and priest are also recorded, and this may relate to the Pre-Conquest cross fragment. In 1291 the value of the rectory was assessed at 16 marks (£10, 13s, 4d). In the Middle Ages, the dedication seems to have been St Helen.



Piscinae/Pillar Piscinae


The pillar piscina is not recorded in the Buildings of England, nor is it mentioned by the Churches Conservation Trust in their literature. There is no continuous hole through the object, but since it has been broken into three pieces, the channel may have been blocked up when the object was mortared back together. The design of the object, with a clear front, two sides, and plain back, can be paralleled with the recently discovered pillar piscina at Wellingore, Lincolnshire.


C. Hartwell, M. Hyde and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Cheshire, 2nd Ed., New Haven and London, 2011, 636.