St Peter's Church, Alstonefield
|St Peter's Church, Alstonefield|
Hidden from view on the south side of the village is St Peter's Church. It dates partly back to Norman times but has been heavily altered several times throughout the centuries, mainly in 1590 when most of the chancel was rebuilt and later in 1870. A feature of the church is its fine woodwork. There is a set of low 17th century pews, retaining their original brass-work, a double decker pulpit (originally a three decker ) and a painted Beresford pew at the east end of the north aisle. The Cotton family pew bears the Cotton coat of arms on the back and was made at about the same time as all the rest of the carved woodwork in the church, for Charles Cotton, senior, who then owned Beresford Hall (now demolished).
A huge chest, inside the church, some 10 feet long and several hundred years old, had 3 locks. The vicar and the churchwardens each had a key, making the presence of all 3 necessary at 'opening ceremonies'. The chest was stolen from the church in 1995. It had the date 1713 carved onto it. There is also the bowl of a Saxon font, which was dug up in the churchyard, and fragments of Anglo-Saxon or Viking crosses are built into the wall, near the porch.
The three original bells, cast in 1677 and 1680, had not been rung for 80 years until re hung in 1989, along with four bells from St John's in Longton, which had been demolished.
Mrs Marion Beloe (01335 310253)
For more information on Alstonefield try Alstonefield
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