St Michael and All Angels Church, Middlewich

P1030351a.jpgThe Chancel has a decorative open roof truss known as the hammer-beam roof and has been called “...the most spectacular endeavour of the English Medieval carpenter.”(1)

The roof was erected in 1621 with the cost being covered by Sir William Brereton. The inscription around the roof reads:-

 ‘This roofe was builded at the coste of Sir Wm Brereton, Knt. Patron of this church, an D’ni 1621. Vivit post funera virtus. Raphe Walley, of Stanthorne, and Rd Hatton, of Detton, surveyors of this worke, 1621, Robt. Hallyly, being Preacher and Vicar.’

The original roof was replaced in 1951 when it was destroyed by the death watch beetle. There is a plaque in the Chancel that reads:- ‘The roof of this chancel was restored in the year 1951, on the lines of the former roof of 1621, at a cost of £4,500 raised by voluntary subscriptions. George R. Kemp, vicar. William Oakes and Lewin Phillips, wardens. John Moreton and William Beckett, Bostock wardens. L Brown & Sons Ltd. Builders. FW Nicholson, Surveyor.’

Drawn from Life 1835.jpg

From the beginning of the 1800’s till 1857/58, the chancel roof was covered in plaster, and as you can see from the picture, left, the nave roof was a plain curved roof.

P1030325a.jpgThe present nave roof was erected in 1857/58 during a restoration of the church. In addition to the plaster removal, the galleries were removed and the old pews removed. P1030328a.jpgThe nave roof is panelled oak with carved bosses. The work was carried out at a cost of £6000 and was overseen by Joseph Clarke (Architect) of P1030349a.jpgLondon.

The inscription around the roof is (clockwise from NW corner):-

Isaac Wood M.A. Archdeacon of Chester, Vicar, George Steel, Joshua Lea, John Balmer, David Harding, Churchwardens. In Holiness and Righteousness Before Him all the days of your lives (2). Shew yourselves glad all ye Lands, Sing, Rejoice and give thanks (3), J.F. France Esq, Lord of the Manor. W.R. Court, E. Moss, I. Blackwell, B.L. Vawdrey, C.F. Barkes Esq, Parishoners.


(1) Bismanis, Maija R..The medieval English domestic timber roof: a handbook of types.

(2) Luke 1:75.

(3) Psalm 98

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