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St. Michael and All Angels
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History of Chetwynd Church

Saxon / Norman Times
The parish was known in Saxon times as Catewinde and is recorded in the Domesday Book as having a Priest, Mill, two fisheries, arable land for eight ox teams and a park enclosed for beasts of chase. The probable church would not have been a substantial building and it is likely that the Priest lived at the Manor Hall.

Before the Norman Conquest the Manor was held by Lady Godiva, widow of Leofric, Earl of Mercia. As a great religious benefactor it is possible that she may have founded the first church in our parish. At the Conquest her properties were given to Roger de Montgomery, who passed them on to Turold de Verley. It is assumed that Turold took the name of his Manor, though the first recorded instance of this is a Forest Roll of 1180 that lists Adam de Chetwind as Lord of the Manor. Adam was the ancestor of five generations of the "Chetwynds of Chetwynd" from whom all other branches of the family name stem: including the Chetwynd Talbots, Earls of Shrewsbury.

Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries
During the thirteenth century the Chetwynds became related by marriage to the Pyvelesdon family, who held the manors of Puleston and Flashbrook; Roger de Pyvelesdon is commemorated by a memorial stone cross of c1280 that now stands by St Nicholas Church in Newport.

We have definitive records for a church at Chetewinde appearing in 1272 with William recorded as Rector. In 1281 the church is valued at twenty merks.

In 1354 the Chetewynde Estate passed by marriage to Richard de Peshall and again soon afterwards, through another heiress, to Richard Pigott of Eccleshall. The Pigott family were to hold it for eleven generations and provide five Rectors for Chetwynd Church.


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Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries
Walter Pigott was a royalist who entertained Charles I at Chetwynd Hall for three nights in May 1645: the King's army being en route for Naseby. Captain Richard Symonds of the royalist army left an account of the Church in which he describes a stone building, with the chancel having old stained glass windows and a series of alabaster memorials to the Knights of Chetwynd.

The Rector lived in a parsonage house with kitchen, that had a barn, cowshed and turf house; these were situated at the site of the present Church Lodge.

Sketch (c 1800) of the Piggot Church
Click on sketch for large view (52kb)

Sketch of Piggot ChurchspaceIn 1735 during the patronage of Robert Pigott, a new church was built at the same site and dedicated to St Michael. This was a plain brick building having a nave with high box pews and a square tower holding six bells. The Pigott Church was similar to one still standing at Great Bolas.

Photo of Piggot Church and hall (c 1865)
Click on picture for large view (42kb)
Photo of Piggot Church & Rectoryspace

The rectory was also rebuilt on a larger scale to include a hall, four reception rooms, five bedrooms, an attic, cellars, domestic quarters and stables.

In 1779 the Chetwynd Estate was bought by Reverend Thomas Lloyd, who sold it on to Thomas Borough in 1803. Particulars of the later sale included details of the perpetual advowson, or patronage, to the Rectory of Chetwynd.

Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
The Pigott Church was proving too small for the growing congregation and in 1865 the building of a new church, schoolhouse and rectory was proposed. These were to be constructed away from the Hall, on land given by the patron Mr JC Burton Borough. Benjamin Ferry was appointed as architect and Richard Yates contractor for the project. The contract was signed on 5 December 1865 and foundation stone laid six days later; work was completed in November 1866 and the church consecrated by the Bishop of Lichfield on 25 April 1867.

The church had cost 3675 to construct, most of which was donated by the Borough family. The six bells with their frame were transferred from the Pigott church along with the organ; stone and bricks were also reused from the former building. In 1880 the majolica reredos was added, in 1906 a clock was put in the tower, in 1909 the chancel screen was erected, in 1920 an oak pulpit replaced the original stone and in 1924 the lectern stand was donated. The organ was repositioned and replaced in 1880 and again in 1908.

The old rectory was demolished in 1865 and replaced with a lodge house; the new one being established alongside the church. This third rectory had a hall, four reception rooms, five bedrooms, domestic quarters, stabling and a coach house. The Chetwynd Rectory was sold in 1967.

John G Burton Borough died in 1960 without heirs and the patronage of Chetwynd passed to Mary, his widow. She shared this with the Bishop of Lichfield from 1981 until her death in 1987, when the patronage passed fully to the Bishop.

The Chetwynd Estate was put on the market in 1988, the Hall being sold along with its redundant church graveyard. The Deer Park was purchased by The Newport and District Agricultural Society.

Chetwynd was joined to Newport with Longford in 1981 and to Forton in 1996, to make a united benefice. The Rector for the three parishes lives at Newport in a new Rectory.

Chetwynd has thus seen many changes during a thousand years of Christian worship at four churches within the parish. The challenge now is to prepare the church for another millennium.
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Rectors of Chetwynd
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1272 - William de Chetwynd1655 - William Unett
1318 - John de Uphavene1662 - Thomas Unton
1318 - Reginald de Chetwynd1693 - Francis Skrimisher
1351 - John de Dounton1728 - William Saunders
1363 - William Ellis1763 - Robert Markham
1365 - Reginald de Caynton1766 - William Pigott
1389 - William de Rodenhurst1779 - William Pigott
1391 - William Schevyndon1811 - John Pigott
1391 - John Sheynton1811 - William Otter
1393 - William Cowper1837 - Thomas Whateley
1401 - Richard Walleford1864 - Tl Kingsbury
1402 - Richard Gardyn1866 - Frederick Young
1404 - William Fitzjohn1872 - Henry Jebb
1404 - John Leake 1878 - Cosmo Gordon
1461 - Thomas Bresnell1907 - George Peake
1488 - John Moreton1930 - Arthur Daniel
1488 - Richard Pigott1932 - Henry Robins
1527 - Ralph Grene1948 - Harold Shallcross
1559 - John Pigott1966 - James Hill
1594 - Roger Harpur1981 - Roy Hibbert
1638 - William Ramsden1998 - Rod Biddle
2005 - Steven Mitchell

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