Church Heritage


St Mary and All Saints Church Trentham is a vibrant parish church with a continuous heritage dating back to the time of St Werburgh in the 7th Century. The daughter of a Mercian King, Werburgh set a lasting example of prayer, humility and healing at Trentham where a nunnery was founded in the “holy place” by the river.  St Werburgh was buried at Chester, from where the Two Saints Way guides pilgrims through Trentham, which provided hospitality to travellers, and on to Lichfield, home of St Chad.

The Penitential Cross in the churchyard is believed to be the oldest remaining artefact and is a focus for prayer on the pilgrimage route.

Trentham is described in the Domesday Book as a Royal Manor with one priest.  In 1100 it was given to the Earl of Chester, who built an Augustinian Priory dedicated to St Mary and Al Saints. The Norman pillars were incorporated into the present building. In 1540 the estate was bought by James Leveson, a wool merchant, and the Priory became a private house, rebuilt as an Elizabethan mansion in 1633.  The rood screen and altar table date from this time, as does the Coat of Arms of Charles 1, scarred by bullets during the Civil War.

The Leveson family rose in prominence, with George Granville Leveson Gower taking the title Duke of Sutherland in 1833.  The second duke embarked on an extensive rebuilding scheme of both Trentham Hall and the adjacent church with the renowned architect of the day, Sir Charles Barry.  It is this building, completed in 1844 which we see today.  The organ was gifted by Millicent, Duchess of Sutherland, who is remembered as a social reformer and campaigned for better conditions in the pottery industry.


Memorials to the 2nd Duke of Sutherland and his wife Harriet, mistress of the robes to Queen Victoria, in the Sutherland chapel The building has Grade II* listing in view of the fine Minton tiles, a gift of Sir Herbert Minton and the many memorials to  the Sutherland family.



This heritage brings to Trentham church a rich sense of history.  It is a place of prayer, a place of hospitality, a place of healing and restoration where people can come to the holy place by the river and be refreshed.



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