St Michael and All Angels Church, Middlewich www.middlewichparishchurch.org.uk
Isaac Wood Furniture Click to enlarge

The Lady Chapel contains quite a few of the Jacobean pieces to be found in the church. The misericord and the other Jacobean furniture were donated by Isaac Wood, it is believed the furniture came from Kinderton Hall. Isaac Wood would attend sales with his friend Benjamin Vawdrey and some of the Vawdrey furniture now in Tushingham Hall is of similar design and age to the church furniture.(1)


S2.jpgThe misericord is a shelving projection on the underside of a hinged seat, serving (when seat is turned up) to support a person standing for long periods of prayer.  This misericord depicts a lion sitting on a rock with, either side, two stalks bearing leaves for supporters. The seat is peg-hinged on either side. The misericord is early 16th century, making it Elizabethan, made of oak, and is probably French.(2) It is a listed and featured piece of furniture in the National Archive.


The two high backed chairs behind the Lady Chapel altar appear to come from the same set of furniture.


There are two settles in the chapel, the first has five plain screens and is purely a seat. The other settle has five carved screens in the shape of diamonds with a leaf motif running along the top of the back in half circles.


P1000161a.jpgA simple chest with four traceried panels across the front, and space for the lock piece, which is missing. It has been transformed into a cupboard by being placed on a stand. The front panel has been sawn down the middle, the hinges fitted each end. Inside there are mortises for a money box.(2) In the left hand panel there is a shield topped with a crown. On the shield are carved the letters ‘IHS’, which is ‘IHC’ in its latin form (the sacred monogram for Jesus Christ). The ends of the chest are of a linenfold design, this design originated in Flanders and became widespread in the 14th to 16th centuries.(3) This chest is a listed and featured piece of furniture in the National Archive.


Just outside the chapel in the south aisle, sits the Parish Chest (top picture).


The Parish Chest is Jacobean and would have held the Church silverware and funds. The chest is fitted with three locks and the three key holders would have been the Minister, the Church Clerk and a Church Warden.


P1010567a.jpgThere is an interesting table of contents secured to the inside of the chest lid, listing Deeds, Tithe Maps and Sundries that would have been kept in it for security. The list was prepared and written by WRK in 1874.

 

The chest was used until recently to accommodate Bibles, Prayer Books and documents from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.


References

(1) Diocese of Chester – 0608, Statement of Significance 2014 (Contents of Church).

(2) Continental Church Furniture in England – Charles Tracy.

(3) Linenfold information found on Wikipedia


Resurrection War memorial North Aisle Window Jacobean and Flemish Fittings Poors Box Jacobean and Flemish Fittings Poors Box Arch and Pillars Poors Box TRAIL TIME TOPIC Furniture TRAIL
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