The village of
Area 412.6 hectares.
Population Census 2001: 268
The tranquil leafy village of Churton lies 14 km south of Chester.
It is 2 km kilometers (km) north of the small town of Farndon and
3 km south of the village of Aldford on the B5130 in southwest Cheshire.
The village nestles on the eastern side of the River Dee. The farmland
surrounding the village is owned by two large estates; The Grosvenor
Estate dominates the ownership of farmland in Churton by Aldford,
and the Bamston Estate owns most of the land in Churton by Farndon
area. The village is a commuter hamlet for people working in the
near-by cities and towns of Chester, Liverpool, Manchester, Warrington
Most of the buildings located within the central area of Churton,
are today, part of a Chester County Council designated conservation
The 1971 census records that Churton by Farndon covered an area
of 180 hectares and contained 40 households
Historical boundaries of the village
Today Churton is a small village with its own parish boundaries.
Historically Churton has been referred to as two townships, Churton
by Aldford and Churton by Farndon. Churton by Aldford is part of
the ecclesiastical parish of Aldford, whilst the township of Churton
by Farndon is part of the ecclesiastical parish of Farndon.
The origins for the division of Churton into two townships go back
to the eleventh century. It has been suggested that in 1086 Aldford
was originally part of the moiety of the manor held by Earl Edwin
and Bigot. Churton by Farndon was a moiety belonging to the Bishop
of Chester. The north south dividing line of this ecclesiastical
boundary is formed by Knowl Lane, Hob Lane, and Pump Lane. The separation
of the Aldford moiety into a district parish probably took place
early in the twelfth century when, at the time, Churton was also
believed to have divided by a parish boundary along the lines of
a manorial border. Until the early twentieth century, the remains
of steps of an ancient cross, which marked the boundaries of the
manors of Aldford and Farndon, could still be seen. These steps
were situated at the confluence of Pump Lane and the main road through
the village. Unfortunately, today there is no trace of this boundary
The village comprises principally of one street (B5130) running
south to north, which is traversed obliquely by Pump lane and Hob
Lane running east to west. At the very centre of the village and
situated at the convergence of these roads, is the village public
house -The White Horse whose current proprietors are Irene and Tony
Jones. Originally there were two village public houses; in addition
to an older version of the White Horse there was also the Red Lion.
The Red Lion is now a private residence and a Grade II listed building
situated almost adjacent to the present White Horse Inn.
Churton is somewhat unique amongst Cheshire villages in not possessing
an Anglican Church. A small Methodist Church was established inl832.
The church was known as Churton Primitive Methodist Chapel, and
was used by parishioners until 1993. After 1993 the church became
a private residence. An inscription on the gable of the former church
can still be read, "My House shall be called the House of Prayer
for all people". Parishioners living north of Pump Lane and
Hob lane were obliged to attend Sunday services at the Anglican
church of St John The Baptist in Aldford. Whilst those living geographically
south of these lanes were instructed to attend St Chad's Anglican
church in Farndon.
The Grosvenor Estate built a village school for the infants of local
people. The school hall subsequently became a mission hall for St
John the Baptist Church in Aldford. The sandstone school hall is
the meeting place for Parish Council Meetings and the venue for
practice sessions of the local Farndon and District Brass Band.
During the first sixty years of the twentieth century Churton was
able to support its own Brass Band. Sadly, this musical institution
no longer exists. Churton also had its own Football Club, but the
club today, like its brass band - is no longer in existence.
Buildings in Churton
Possibly the oldest existing building in the village is Churton
Hall, which is the ancestral home of the Bamston Family. Churton
Hall is a; Grade II listed building, a farm, and the home (since
1945) of the Crump Family. Churton Hall was described in the 1882
edition ofOrmerod as being an "Ancient timber mansion, environed
with stately trees, and though long abandoned to farmers retaining
much of its former respectable appearance" The double gabled
house has an inscribed date above the front door of 1569 . The date
of 1569 is preceded and succeeded by the initials W ? and E ? respectively.
These letters refer to William Bamston (died 1620) and his wife
Elizabeth Bamston. The front wall of the house has two oval tablets
one bearing the arms of the Bamston family. The other tablet illustrates
the crest of the Bamston family. Prior to the Crump family taking
over the Hall, it has also been (at different times) the home of
the Bellis family and the Parker family.
The Red Lion Public House dates back to the early 17th century.
Originally the pub had a thatched roof. At sometime in the twentieth
century the thatched roof was burnt.
Cherry Tree Cottage on Chester Road now comprises of three cottages
made into one house. Cherry Tree Cottage encloses a primitive 'A'
frame Cruck. The Cruck was an early form of roof truss. Part of
this building is dated as being built in 1650.
The present day adjacent dwellings of Sibbersfield Hall and Sibbersfield
House were originally built as one house (Sibbersfield Hall) in
the early eighteen seventies for the Parker family Farndon. The
winner of the 1870 Chester Cup 'Our Mary Ann' was trained in the
vicinity and today, a gilded model of the horse can be seen mounted
on the top of The Hall clock tower. Sibbersfield Hall was sold in
1975. Its contents were auctioned. The new owner divided the Hall
into Sibbersfield Hall and Sibbersfield House. The servant's quarters
were converted into what is now Sibbersfield House. Over the past
thirty years the gatehouse, some stables and outbuildings have also
been converted into private dwellings.
Rowley Place. A row of four late Victorian terraced houses was built
Church Farm (now a collection of private residences called Churchmead)
is dated as being built in 1682.
The Restored village Pump.
A millennium project has recently been completed. This operation
took longer than anticipated. The project to restore the iron pump
and to get it working was initiated in 1999. The restored village
pump and its up-graded surrounding granite setts were officially
unveiled in 2005.
Today Churton is serviced by the B5130 road, which is the main
road through the village, and the minor road to Coddington. These
roads allow road traffic into and out of the village. An infrequent
public bus service exists and the bus stop is located outside the
former Red Lion public house. Generally, the inhabitants of Churton
are dependent upon the car for transport to work and domestic duties
such as shopping.
However in previous times Churton had additional modes of communication
available to its inhabitants. The village is exactly 8 km from the
old Waverton railway station and 8 km from the former railway station
at Broxton. Both stations served the London and North Western Railway.
This railway line disappeared with the Beeching cut backs of the
Until the outbreak of World War I, the Almere ferry across the river
Dee was available to the villagers of Churton, the ferryman being
one Neddy Williams. Neddy would be summoned by calling across the
Dee to the Welsh side of the river. He would row people (but not
cattle) across the Dee in a flat-bottomed boat. Neddy, apparently,
did not charge for this service.
Monitoring the development and growth of the village is difficult.
Indications of the
increase in population can be gleaned by consulting the census returns
and by researching
ordnance survey maps.
The Enumerator's Summary for the 5th of April 1851 shows that Churton
population of 191 males and 207 females, a total population of 398.
The Enumerator in
1851 was one John Speed. He was a locally elected official who acted
constable, he dispensed funds to the poor and he also surveyed the
condition of the roads.
Kelly's Directory for 1902 gives 1901 census population of Churton
by Aldford as being 223 individuals. Churton by Farndon contains
126. A grand total of 349 people. This actually indicates a decline
in Churton's population since 1851 when the census was compiled
by John Speed.
The First Edition of the 1874 6" map shows that Churton by
Aldford has an area of 574.264 acres (i.e. 232.4 hectares) (Whilst
Churton by Farndon has an area of 445.396 acres, (i.e. 180.2 hectares)
In the 1874 (First Edition) ordnance survey map the following buildings
are clearly marked.
Churton Lodge Stannage Farm Churton Farm (now Churchmead)
Churton Hall Sibbersfield Hall The Smithy Grange Farm
The School (boys and girls) Red Lion Public House The Primitive
The streets of Knowl Lane and Hob Lane are clearly listed
The Third Edition (1911) Ordnance Survey map shows that Crab Tree
Cottage has been built on Stannage Lane and that there is a gasometer
in the grounds of Churton Lodge. Foxes Cottages are shown as being
built just off, what is now New Lane. The village school is referred
to as an Infant School. The following Churton residences have been
built (this is not a definitive list) Kingsmead (1905), Pump Cottage,
Churton Stud, White Horse Inn (the present building dates from 1902),
Dee View, Rowley Place and all the present day houses found south
of The White Horse which front the B5130.
Stannage Lane is marked and the map also shows part of Pump Lane
as being called Marsh Lane. This road leads from the village pump,
out of Churton towards Edgerley Lane and Coddington.
The Future of Churton Village
In the past twenty years Churton, like many small villages has lost
some of its amenities. Churton's only chapel ceased to function
in 1993.Its Post Office closed in 1997. The village has also lost
its shop, which was situated at the junction of Pump Lane and the
main Chester Road. The Village Hall is not used as much as it was
in past years. The Village Hall had been used for several years
as a crèche for young children. Currently, only the Farndon
and District Brass Band regularly use the hall for their band practice
once a week. The Parish Council holds their bi-monthly meetings
in the hall. Until ten years ago, Churton had its own branch of
the Women's Institute (W.I). Regrettably, the Churton W.I. is now
no longer functioning.
There are relatively few inhabitants of Churton who can trace their
ancestry with the
village. Most of the present day inhabitants have moved to the village
from other regions
of the country.
Traffic through the village has been monitored and there is some
considerable concern at the number of vehicles which pass through
the village breaking the statutory speed limits.
The Parish Council has initiated plans to restore the village notice
boards and to develop a small park for villagers to enjoy. Churton
is a delightfully tranquil village with an abundance of charm and
character. How the village will progress in the coming years will
largely be determined by the actions of its inhabitants.