A brief history of St Mary's church, Prestbury

 

The central part of Prestbury’s present church dates back to the twelfth century. Over the next hundred years, as the importance of Prestbury as a market town grew, the need for a bigger and grander church led to further additions being made to the building.

 

Over the next two centuries, due to a devastating fire in the town, Henry VIII’s Reformation and a series of corrupt churchmen, the church fell into disrepair. During the Civil War, Prestbury was held by Parliamentarian troops who commandeered the church as an armoury and stable, and it was badly damaged. No attempt was made to repair it until 1676 after the Restoration of Charles II to the throne.

 

In 1795, the village experienced an earth tremor sufficient to crack the south tower wall. During the early nineteenth century, in order to accommodate the growing village population, galleries were added to the north, west and south walls. An astonishing jumble of ‘Pews of every variety and form’, to quote the vicar of that time, filled the floor of the church.

 

From 1864 to 1868 there was a massive restoration of St Mary’s. George Edmund Street, the architect who designed the Law Courts in the Strand, London, was commissioned to redesign the interior of the church.

 

Since 6th August 1808 Holy Communion has been celebrated almost every day and the Sanctus Bell sounded.