Site of the church of St Chad


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


Ordnance survey map of Site of the church of St Chad
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1017060 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 13-Oct-2019 at 21:10:26.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Cheshire East (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SJ 70021 49870

Reasons for Designation

A parish church is a building, usually of roughly rectangular outline and containing a range of furnishings and fittings appropriate to its use for Christian worship by a secular community, whose members gather in it on Sundays and on the occasion of religious festivals. Children are initiated into the Christian religion at the church's font and the dead are buried in its churchyard. Parish churches were designed for congregational worship and are generally divided into two main parts: the nave, which provides accommodation for the laity, and the chancel, which is the main domain of the priest and contains the principal altar. Either or both parts are sometimes provided with aisles, giving additional accommodation or spaces for additional altars. Most parish churches also possess towers, generally at the west end, but central towers at the crossing of nave and chancel are not uncommon and some churches have a free-standing or irregularly sited tower. Many parish churches also possess transepts at the crossing of chancel and nave, and south or north porches are also common. The main periods of parish church foundation were in the 10th to 11th and 19th centuries. Most medieval churches were rebuilt and modified on a number of occasions and hence the visible fabric of the church will be of several different dates, with in some cases little fabric of the first church being still easily visible. Parish churches are found throughout England. Their distribution reflects the density of population at the time they were founded. In regions of dispersed settlement parishes were often large and churches less numerous. The densest clusters of parish churches were found in thriving medieval towns. A survey of 1625 reported the existence of nearly 9000 parish churches in England. New churches built in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries increased numbers to around 18,000 of which 17,000 remain in ecclesiastical use. Parish churches have always been major features of the landscape and a major focus of life for their parishioners. They provide important insights into medieval and later population levels or economic cycles, religious activity, artistic endeavour and technical achievement. A significant number of surviving examples are identified to be nationally important.

The remains of the parish church of St Chad form an important survival of archaeological evidence for the succession of churches which have been built on this site. Below ground features will include both building foundations and burials which will provide insight into the methods of construction used in different periods as well as the evidence for diet, disease and genetic characteristics of the buried population inside the churches.


The monument includes the footprint of the partly demolished church of St Chad at Wybunbury. The nave and chancel of the church which used to stand on the site were pulled down in 1976 because the foundations could not be stabilised and the structure was becoming dangerous. The tower is still standing after extensive engineering works to underpin the structure. This work has destroyed any archaeological value of the ground beneath, and consequently the tower is totally excluded from the scheduling. The dedication of the church to St Chad, who was Bishop of the Mercians in AD 669, suggests that the church may have been important during the latter years of the Kingdom of Mercia. The Domesday survey records the settlement of Wybunbury as having a priest. From the 17th until the early 19th century the parish included 18 townships, suggesting that the church had been an important minster church (mother church) during the medieval period. The church tower dates to the 15th century, although fragments of a 12th century building were found near the tower during excavations in 1893. The church was partly demolished and rebuilt in 1593 and again in 1760, leaving only the tower. The chancel was demolished and rebuilt in 1792, 1833 and 1893. The restoration of 1893 incorporated the chancel into the existing nave, leaving the area of the former chancel to become a burial ground which is still in use as a memorial garden and as a place for cremation interments. The scheduling includes the platform of the former nave of 1760, which is considered to include below ground remains of earlier structures. This platform measures 26m from east to west and 20m from north to south. On the northern side of this area there are the remains of six buttresses which project into the path made of former gravestones which runs beside the visible stone foundations to the memorial garden at the eastern end. The surface of the path to the north of the site, and the paths, memorials and gravestones which are part of the memorial garden to the east are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included. The church tower is totally excluded from the scheduling.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 1 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Preservation Trust, , Wybunbury Tower


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

Your Contributions

Do you know more about this entry?

The following information has been contributed by users volunteering for our Enriching The List project. For small corrections to the List Entry please see our Minor Amendments procedure.

The information and images below are the opinion of the contributor, are not part of the official entry and do not represent the official position of Historic England. We have not checked that the contributions below are factually accurate. Please see our terms and conditions. If you wish to report an issue with a contribution or have a question please email [email protected].