Places: Aldford

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EDC 5/1580/8 – Alice Haselwall, wife of Christopher Haselwall, contra Ellen Barrowe


The parish is not far from Chester and comprised the townships of Aldford, Buerton, Edgerley and half of Churton. Aldford itself is situated on the River Dee.

The remains of a motte and bailey castle, said to date from the twelfth-century, can still be seen near to the church.

The advowson of the rectory was owned by the lords of the manor. The Stanleys of Alderley held the manor in the early years of the sixteenth century. It subsequently passed back to the Crown and was purchased by the courtier, William Brereton, but was forfeit following his execution. It was later sold to Sir Edward Fitton of Gawsworth and Robert Tatton jointly but was eventually purchased by the Grosvenors of Eaton who funded the rebuilding of the church and much of the village of Aldford.

The radical Protestant, Christopher Goodman, who had been joint leader with John Knox, of the exile congregation in Geneva during the reign of the Catholic Mary Tudor, was appointed rector of Aldford in 1567. Goodman’s Puritan practices, such as the use of bread instead of wafers at communion, seems to have been popular in the parish as ‘a great assembly’ gathered for his service on Palm Sunday in 1570, but he was not popular with either the Queen or the church authorities and was obliged to resign the living in 1572. He was replaced by another religious radical, John Lane.

The church building was in a poor state of repair by the early nineteenth century and was demolished and rebuilt to a design by John Douglas; the new building being consecrated in 1866.

The churchyard cross was erected in 1901 but stands on a plinth which is probably medieval. The sundial in the churchyard probably dates from the eighteenth century. The stocks, currently undergoing restoration, are thought to date from the seventeenth century.


George Ormerod, The History of the County Palatine and City of Chester, vol. 2 (second edition, revised and enlarged by T. Helsby, London, 1882).

DNB – Jane E. A. Dawson ‘Christopher Goodman’

Denbigh Record Office, DD/PP/839 ff.111-113.

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