St Peter's Church

 

ST PETER'S CHURCH: Myddle, Shropshire

 

A Saxon foundation pre 1066 held by Siward the Saxon and later given to Shrewsbury Abbey by Warin the Bold.
1086 Domesday 1086 Mulleht – the wood by the junction of the stream “In lordship I plough, 8 small holders, a priest and 2 Frenchmen. Woodland for fattening 40 pigs, land for 20 ploughs. It covered 8 hides [sufficient to support 8 families and their dependents]. Valued pre 1066 at £6, later £4, now 70/- [shillings].” Nothing is known of the early church.
1232 The first named Rector, Howell ap Griffin de Bromfeld, a younger son of the Prince of Lower Powis had Henry III’s permission to reside here.
1234 A pact was signed between Llewellyn the Great of Wales and Archbishop Rich of Canterbury, the Bishops of Lichfield and Rochester, ratified by Henry III – valid for two years ensuring peace on the Welsh border and renewed annually until Llewellyn’s death.
1541 The Church registers in the County Archives date back to 1541. During the Rectorship of Ralph Kynaston the church tower had deteriorated badly [not helped by the oak steeple on top of the tower falling down. The Rector offered to rebuild the tower up to his own height if the parishioners paid for the rest. They declined.
1634 The tower was rebuilt by John Dod at a cost of £5/yard. Ralph Kynaston had died in 1629 and is buried underneath the chancel.
1744 The church was rebuilt, apart from the tower and an inset on the outside of the north wall commemorates this event. The south aisle was enlarged as the population had increased.
1857/8 The church was closed for repairs and renewals and services were held in the school.
By the addition of stone tracery, the Georgian windows became ‘Victorian Gothick’.
The old box pews were taken down and the gallery was removed. The wainscoting from the pews and gallery was inserted into many of the pew backs. This woodwork is 18th century split oak.
The church was re-roofed with new timber and slates, the old rafters being used to support the new flooring for the pews.
A new vestry was built, the interior access to the tower was blocked off and an outside door fitted. A large window was installed at the west end under the tower.
The lych-gate was removed from the north-east corner of the churchyard to its present site and later roofed over to commemorate the Rev. G. H. Egerton’s golden jubilee in 1893. A faculty was granted in 1856 – total cost £1,755.
1875  Central heating was installed and the cats iron circulating pipes were in use until 1995.
1877  The chancel was restored. The organ chamber was built in memory of Lady Marjoribanks, wife of Rector Egerton.
RECENT WQRKS & REFURBISHMENTS
Work undertaken during an interregnum:
1991 Restoration of the painting of ‘St Peter’s denial of Christ.’ An early 18th century original painting of the Italian School in a 19th century frame. Total cost £458.25 of which The Pilgrim Trust contributed £200.
Re-wiring of the church plus installation of electricity in the tower and power points and lights over the lectern and pulpit. Cost £2,645.
1992 Removal of five single lancet stained glass windows from St. Andrew’s, Harmer Hill [now closed as a place of worship] and installation at St. Peter’s.
The two war memorial windows depicting St. Michael and St. Gabriel were inserted in a double plain glass lancet window to the left of the War Memorial Board in the south aisle. They were created in Florence Carr’s studio in Smethwick and are considered ‘very fine’ in the pre-Raphaelite tradition. The three memorial windows were fitted in a triple lancet plain glass window on the west wall of the south aisle. The windows had to be adapted to fit. The work was undertaken by Graham Chaplin of Muxton. Total cost of removing, fitting and provision of widow guards: £2,545.
1993/4 Refurbishment of three bells with new gudgeons, headstocks, shrouding and strengthening of the tower with R.S.Js. Cost £5,915 with the help of grants from the Manifold Trust [£500], Shropshire Association of Bell-Ringers [£800] and North Shropshire District Council [£672}.
Minister-in-Charge: Rev Prebendary Ann Hadley.
1993/4 Refurbishment of three bells with new gudgeons, headstocks, shrouding and strengthening of the tower with R.S.Js. Cost £5,915 with the help of grants from the Manifold Trust [£500], Shropshire Association of Bell-Ringers [£800] and North Shropshire District Council [£672}.
1994  Installation of aumbry – cost £105.50.
1995 Total renewal of central heating installation with modern radiators, convection heaters and conversion from oil to gas-fired. [£13,009].
Removal of some pews at front and rear of north aisle and side pews to south aisle.
Tiled floors – of interest in their own right but cold – were carpeted. A kitchen, lobby and toilet were added internally at the west end of the south aisle [£18,682].
1996 Installation of new linings to stone trough eaves gutters to chancel. [6,328].
Re-roofing and re-leading of vestry and organ chamber. [£11,685].
Inter regnum
2000 The millennium was celebrated by a large tapestry worked by the ladies of the craft group from Harmer Hill. It depicts: the Church, Village Hall the Red Lion, the village well and the remains of the castle – all at Myddle; the Presbyterian Chapel, the Bridgwater Arms, the Red Castle, Village Hall, and the redundant school and chapel - all at Harmer Hill; Balderton Hall, Marton Hall, and The Nest at Webscott – all local hamlets. The flora and fauna were worked by ladies and friends of the Craft Group and the two trees have 95 leaves between them representing the 95 pupils in Myddle School.
Priest-in-Charge: Rev Canon William Price.
2002 The sandstone masonry to all external walls with the exception of the tower was repaired and repointed. [£27,797].
2004 All roofs [except vestry] stripped, felted and re-slated; lead valley gutter replaced; internal ceiling underlinings replaced with insulated plasterboard; all roof trusses, beams and rafters checked and re-stained; all internal walls re-decorated; all memorials, hatchments, armorials overhauled and re-furbished. Porch re-roofed, re-lined and decorated. [£82,000. Grants received from Historic Churches Fund £8,500; Shropshire Historic Churches £2,000].
2005 Vestry re-plastered as necessary, re-decorated and all woodwork re-stained. [£2,500].
Lych gate repaired and all woodwork treated and stained. [£1,500].
   

 

ITEMS of SPECIFIC INTEREST.
BELLS There are three bells:
The tenor bell on which the clock strikes weighs 7cwt and is inscribed: Richard Gough, Will Formston, churchwardens. ‘Voco ipso non intro.’ [Others I call, myself remain outside] was cast by Thomas Clibury of Wellington in 1668 tuned to Bb.
The second bell is undated and inscribed ‘Petrus Apostolus et Paullus doctor tenorum [Peter the apostle and Paul teacher of the gentiles] is thought to be the work of Michael de Lichfield and cast in his Staffordshire foundry circa 1280 and tuned to C but slightly flat in pitch.
The treble bell is inscribed ’Mr Edward Hanmer, Mr Adam Downes. Churchwardens 1715.’ It was cast by Abraham Rudhall of Gloucester and is tuned to D.
 
For further information you may want to look at the site compiled by the Shropshire Association of Church Bell Ringers and includes recordings of the bells of Myddle. The site can be reached via http://www.sacbr.org.uk/  then follow the link to Myddle from Association Towers.
CLOCK The clock was erected by the parishioners of Myddle and others in commemoration of the coronation of Edward VII and the close of the Boer War, August 9th 1902.
ROYAL COAT of ARMS is dated 1775.
HATCHMENTS There are two hatchments on the north wall referring to A R Atcherley ‘Spes mea Dominum.’ [My hope is in God] and a member of the Hanmer family.
DUCKING STOOL 1660-1685. Only the seat remains; the pole and wheels are missing.
ORGAN A good single manual William Hill organ was specially made for St. Peter’s. It still has the original ebony and ivory stops and keys. Unusually the stops are reversed in that those keys that are normally white are black and vice versa. Very few of William Hill’s organs have survived.
CHARITY BOARDS Two such are sited in the south porch with lists of benefactors and their requests.
WAR MEMORIAL on the south wall is unusual. It commemorates not only the ‘the Fallen’ but also all who served in the Great War 1914-18
LIST of INCUMBENTS since 1192 is posted in the main [north] porch.
RICHARD GOUGH a noted 17th century historian who lived at Newton-on-the Hill, another hamlet, wrote his ‘History of Myddle’ based on the occupants of the various church pews. Gough is referred to elsewhere.
   

 

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