St Mary's Church, Stockport

St Mary's Church is the oldest parish church in the town of Stockport, Greater Manchester, England. It stands in Churchgate overlooking the market place. The church is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade I listed building.[2] It is an active Anglican parish church in the diocese of Chester, the archdeaconry of Macclesfield and the deanery of Stockport.[3]

St Mary's Church, Stockport
St Mary's parish church in Stockport.jpg
St Mary's Church, Stockport, from the south
53°24′40″N 2°09′20″W / 53.411234°N 2.155514°W / 53.411234; -2.155514Coordinates: 53°24′40″N 2°09′20″W / 53.411234°N 2.155514°W / 53.411234; -2.155514
OS grid referenceSJ 898 905
LocationStockport, Greater Manchester
StatusParish church
Functional statusActive
Heritage designationGrade I
Designated14 May 1952
Architect(s)Lewis Wyatt
Architectural typeChurch
MaterialsChancel sandstone
Rest of church limestone
RectorThe Revd Lynne Cullens
Reader(s)Rita Waters
Churchwarden(s)Sue Heap & Adam Pinder


A church was on the site by 1190. A sandstone church was built during the incumbency of Richard de Vernon, 1306- 1320 and only its chancel remains.[4] The rest of the present church was built between 1813 and 1817 to the design of Lewis Wyatt.[2] There was a further restoration in 1848 to replace weathered masonry.[5] Further restoration was carried out in 1882. The tower originated in the 14th century and was rebuilt in 1612–16 and again in 1810.[6]



The chancel is built in local red sandstone in the decorated style. The rest of the church is Runcorn sandstone in the perpendicular style.[5] Its plan consists of a west tower, a wide nave with galleries, a south porch, and a chancel with a vestry to its north.[5]

Fittings and furnitureEdit

The roof of the chancel is the original single-framed timber roof. In the sanctuary is a double piscina, a large triple sedilia and, in a recess, the damaged effigy of Richard de Vernon, who was rector of Stockport from 1306 to 1334.[4] In the church are a number of monuments, including one dated 1753 by Daniel Sephton to the memory of William Wright.[2] Other memorials include one to Sir George Warren who died in 1801 by Sir Richard Westmacott depicting a standing female figure by an urn on a pillar, to Rev Charles Prescott who died in 1820, also by Westmacott, showing a seated effigy, to James Antrobus Newton who died in 1823 by Bacon junior and S. Manning showing a kneeling female figure, and to Mrs Hawall who died in 1852 by Latham of Manchester showing angels hovering over her body.[7] On the chancel arch are the coat of arms of George III in plaster.[4] The parish registers begin in 1584.[4] There is a ring of ten bells. Seven of these were cast by John Rudhall in 1817 and the other three by John Taylor & Co in 1897.[8]

External featuresEdit

The gateway to the church and a nearby drinking fountain are listed at Grade II*. The gateway was designed by Lewis Wyatt and consists of three pointed archways, with crocketed finials above the centre arch.[9]

A rectory was built for the church in 1744 to replace an earlier timber-framed building of 16th-century origin. It was the home of rectors, and later bishops of Stockport, until the 1950s. It is now part of a Travel Inn and is a Grade II* listed building.[10] The old ice house still exists within the grounds.


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "A new future for mission in Stockport" (pdf). Diocese of Chester. 2018. Retrieved 30 November 2021. Our service tradition is classified as "central" with the use of eucharist vestments, coloured stoles, scarf and hood as appropriate.
  2. ^ a b c Historic England, "Parish Church of St Mary, Stockport (1309701)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 14 December 2011
  3. ^ Churches in the Diocese, Diocese of Chester, retrieved 22 June 2009
  4. ^ a b c d Richards, Raymond (1947), Old Cheshire Churches, London: Batsford, pp. 309–312, OCLC 719918
  5. ^ a b c Wilson, Jo (1998), History, St Mary's Parish Church, archived from the original on 11 January 2008, retrieved 20 December 2007
  6. ^ Salter, Mark (1995), The Old Parish Churches of Cheshire, Malvern: Folly Publications, p. 70, ISBN 1-871731-23-2
  7. ^ Hartwell, Claire; Hyde, Matthew; Hubbard, Edward; Pevsner, Nikolaus (2011) [1971], Cheshire, The Buildings of England, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, pp. 593–595, ISBN 978-0-300-17043-6
  8. ^ Stockport S Mary, Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers, retrieved 11 August 2008
  9. ^ Historic England, "Gateway to Parish Church of St Mary and fountain to side (1067202)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 14 December 2011
  10. ^ Historic England, "Former rectory, Stockport (1356827)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 14 December 2011