Saturday, 31 December 2016

The Lost Village of Shotwick

Is Shotwick a lost village? Well it is certainly very different to what it once was. Up until the eighteenth century the village in Cheshire was nestled on the banks of the River Dee, it was a crossing point over the river, and would have had boats resting on the bank. Today the river is about a mile away, the result of the silting of the River Dee, silting that has also effected Parkgate. The village is dominated by the medieval Church of St. Michael's and has a number of cottages that line a road that now passes the Church to nowhere. The Church has a variety of historical and archaeological features, from stonemasons marks, seventeenth and eighteenth century gravestones, and remains of Civil War activity.

A beautiful painting in the Church showing how the village once rested on the banks of the River Dee.
St. Michael's Church. The Norman Church of the 12th century replaced a Saxon Church, which was probably a wooden structure.
The beautiful Norman Arch of the south doorway is part of the Norman structure.

When visiting the Church by the entrance, one will notice a series of grooves on the sandstone. The website for the Church tells us that 'by a decree of Edward III, after Mass the rest of Sunday had to be devoted to archery, all other sport being prohibited in its interest. These grooves worn in the sandstone of the porch were made by archers sharpening their arrows before practice at the butts.'

What is believed locally to be a mooring ring on the church wall. The River Dee would have come close to the wall before the silting took place. It's an interesting discussion piece to end on.

All photographs by Dr David Harrison.

© Dr David Harrison 2016.


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