Saturday, 12 September 2015

Heritage Open Days - St Laurence Church Frodsham 12 & 13 September

If you get the chance over this weekend take advantage of the Heritage Open Days.  There are several interesting buildings open to the public - some just for this weekend.

Our own St Laurence church is open - and is displaying some of its interesting documents and records.  I never tire of visiting the church and learning of the history of the church and our wonderful community.  Each time you go you can learn more and gain interesting insights.

I spent quite some time reading the tithe and other records.  It was fascinating stretching back into history beyond the reformation and seeing perhaps how much or how little has changed.  The legal records show, guess what, arguments over money!

I literally laughed out loud reading a circular written in 1868 describing Frodsham from the Chester Diocesan point of view.   Frodsham's population then was of the order of 2800, Helsby 570 and Manley 294...

The description stated:
'Chiefly agricultural with small shopkeepers and tradesmen.  Some employed in the local chemical works nearby.  Drunkenness common among labourers and second rate farmers.  Feeling towards the church good even among Wesleyans.  One or two curates needed for parish church and one for Helsby and Manley.  Dissenters mainly among shopkeeper class and less prominent among labourers.  There are 2 Weslyan chapels at F., and small room where Primitives meet; small Wesleyan chapel built at Overton about 8 years ago at the expense of Mr Hazlehurst of Runcorn, a great builder of Wesleyan chapels; there are 2 chapels in each of the other townships.'

Isn't it interesting to see the somewhat dismissive description of Frodsham and the focus on the 'opposition' Methodists/Weslyans/Primitives.  Given the Methodists focus on temperance and people taking the 'pledge' to abstain from alcohol I do wonder whether the drunkenness was being exaggerated!

I took some interesting photographs in the church:

Is this a Roman Head?