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St Mary, Bowdon, Cheshire

(53°22′38″N, 2°21′49″W)
SJ 759 868
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Cheshire
now Greater Manchester
  • Ron Baxter

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Feature Sets

St Mary's is a substantial church of 1858-60 by W. H. Brakspear, spacious within and equipped outside with an array of battlements and pinnacles. It has a W tower, a clerestoreyed, aisled nave of six bays, N and S transepts, and a chancel with an organ loft and vestry on the N side and a chapel on the S. The stone is a pink sandstone. There is a collection of loose stones in the N transept, including the Romanesque fragments described below.


In 1086 Bowdon was held by Hamo from Earl Hugh. There was a church and a priest to which half a hide belonged.


Loose Sculpture


The chip-carved stones must belong to a campaign of c.1100, but both the Saracen's head corbel and the bishop relief are later 12thc. The form of the bishop relief - a rectangular stone containing only part of the figure - suggests a large tympanum rather than a tomb slab, which is a very exciting possibility. Unfortunately the inscription is too curtailed to offer much help in identification.


N. Pevsner and E. Hubbard, The Buildings of England. Cheshire. Harmondsworth 1971 (repr. 1978), 109-11.

R. Richards, Old Cheshire Churches. London 1947, 64-67.