St Lawrence

The present church of Saint Lawrence, which is graded as II*, was almost entirely rebuilt in 1827 by George Edgecombe replacing an earlier church which may have dated from the 13th century. The original was described in the middle of the 14th century as ‘a sumptuous fabric of stone and wood, of great size and with four bells’.


The roof over the present nave is Tudor and is ‘arch brace and hammer beam’ in construction. Even to the untrained eye it is very different to the newer roof construction in the transepts and the chancel.


The various monuments around the walls are mostly from the earlier church. Saint Lawrence has one of the finest collections of wooden memorial tablets in the county. They are thought to have been painted by the Randle Holmes family of Chester, between 1627 and 1702, and show the coats of arms of the Bunbury and Grace families, who worshipped in the church.


In the chancel is the finest memorial of all. This is in marble and records the death in 1674 of Henry Bunbury and his wife, Diana and various other members of the Bunbury family. It is very elaborate and has eight coats of arms of well-known Cheshire families.


The baptismal font, ornamented in Saxon style, was probably purchased in the late 19th century to replace the original. The story goes that this was cracked by some careless workmen who, being in the church on a cold winter’s day, lit a fire in it to keep warm. In the porch is the church wardens’ chest dating from 1686 with the names of the then wardens – Richard Denson and Thomas Taylor.


The Holy Table and Altar Rails were made in 1687 at a cost of £3.17.6. There are also two finely carved oak chairs of the Charles II period.


There is very little stained glass in the church. The royal coat of arms may be glimpsed in the west window and there is some 19th century glass in the Transept. A German land mine in the Second World War cracked the stained glass in the East window and made its removal necessary. The vicar at the time, Mr Nankivell, insisted that it should be replaced by clear glass, so improving the lighting of the church.


Saint Lawrence has the oldest bells in Wirral dated 1615, 1632, 1642. There are only three and they cannot be rung due to the state of the wooden frames which are possibly the originals.


There is also a one fingered clock on the bell tower. These are most unusual and the only other church in the locality with a similar clock is Saint Nicholas in Burton. We are hoping to restore the clock and to set it going once more.


The church is open each Saturday from 10.00 am - 4.00 pm and at other times by arrangement for anyone who wants to experience the peace and beauty of this ancient building.  For further information contact Revd Gordon Welch via the 'contact us' tab above


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