St Oswald’s Church in Lower Peover and St Lawrence’s Church in Over Peover both have very long histories.
St Oswald’s Church was founded in 1269 by Richard Gosvenor of Hulme Hall as a Chapel of Ease in order to save the long journey to the mother church at Great Budworth.St Lawrence’s Church is most likely to have been founded during the reign of Edward the Third (1327-1377) although there may have been an earlier Chapel of Ease on the site. By the time of Henry the Fourth (1422-1461) it was a parochial chapel to the mother church at Rostherne.
As might be expected the buildings have seen many changes since their original foundation. The tower of St Oswald’s was added in 1582 then in 1851 major building refurbishment work was carried out under the architect Anthony Salvin. In 1811, the nave and chancel of St Lawrence’s were rebuilt in brick although the side chapels, including the south chapel, dating from the fifteenth century, were preserved.
Both churches have retained many historical features, including pre-Reformation fonts. The Mainwaring effigies in St Lawrence’s are beautifully preserved examples. St Lawrence is well known as one of only two churches in England that has surviving fragments of stained glass depicting the murder of St. Thomas a Becket. A Stars and Stripes flag presented by General Patton, who was stationed at Peover Hall during WW2 and worshipped at St. Lawrence, hangs on the wall at St Lawrence’s. St Oswald’s is a half-timbered building with box pews. The crest of the Shakerley family who inherited Hulme Hall in the fifteenth century can be seen on several of the pew doors. Another item of interest at St Oswald’s is a bog oak, dug out chest which is believed to be older than the church itself.