St. Marys the Virgin, Lymm

13th February 2011 Off By Derek Buckthorpe

St Mary's Church, LymmThe first documented reference to a Church at Lymm is the Doomsday Book commissioned by William the Conqueror in 1086.

The first church was probably built in Saxon times. It is probable that the second church was of the Norman style and period. This was probably replaced by a third structure designed in one of the earlier pointed styles of architecture. Architectural evidence suggests this third church was probably built towards the beginning of the fourteenth century, so that the second church must have been standing more than 300 years.

In the early part of this century, during restoration work, masons came across a moulded base of deep red sandstone, which was probably a relic of the first or second structure. . Leycester writes “in 1521 the people began to build a steeple of stone at Limme where our Blessed lady is the founder”. This church stood until 1850 when it became too small and steps were taken to rebuild it. The old tower of 1521 was incorporated into the 1850 rebuilding, but unfortunately the building committee unwisely added to its height. The extra weight was too much for the original foundations and in 1887 it was declared unsafe and had to be rebuilt.

It was during this time that the money for a public clock was raised and duly installed. Also the present bells were also installed, the tenor, weighing nearly thirty hundredweights, being the heaviest in Cheshire apart from one at Chester Cathedral.

The present building is a good example of Victorian Gothic. The church (a grade 2 listed building) has a traditional high altar/ chancel – long nave design and can accommodate up to 600 worshipers within the nave (6 bays), lady Chapel (south transept) and two galleries above the north and south transepts. A meeting or fellowship room occupies the north transept and choir stalls are placed within the chancel. Entry to the church is via a porch at the tower end of the northern gallery, with disabled access through a south (double) door.

The influence of the Oxford Movement can be seen in the vestigial stone screen and in the very small sanctuary which has the effect of making the altar clearly visible from the body of the church.

There are several memorial windows and commemorative brasses. The East and West windows are particularly striking and good example of Victorian glass installed around 1865. The Parish registers (now in the Cheshire Record Office) date from 1568 and there is a list of Rectors from 1278.

Details of weekly services at St. Mary’s church, Lymm

8.00 am Said Communion
10.00 am Parish Communion
6.30 pm Evening Prayer

10.45 am Holy Communion

10.30 am Praise and Play


The St. Mary’s church Web page: