The History of St Chad's Church...

  Pattingham in the past
  Pattingham Local History Society
  St Chad's - Points of interest
  St Chad's - Memorials
  Parish Records - St Chad's & St Mary's

An introduction to the history of St Chad's Church, Pattingham

Friend, this church stands open now for thee,
That thou mayest enter, rest, think, kneel and pray,
Remember where thou art, and what must be
Thine end. Remember as Thou go thy way.

The dedication of the Pattingham Parish Church to Chad, a seventh century Celtic bishop, suggests that there has been a church on this site since Saxon times. It is interesting to look around and discover what can be seen of that long history in the architecture and artefàcts in the building.

Although part of the foundation of the chancel is believed to be Saxon nothing can be seen of that original building. However, the shaft of the churchyard cross may date from that time.

The Domesday Book states that Pattingham had its own priest. It is practically certain that a wholly Norman church was built, of which only the two round arches on the north side of the nave remain. The octagonal font dates, in part, from that time.


Much of the building work dates from the early thirteenth century. The chancel dates from 1220-1240.

Note the
sedilia. seats for the priest, and piscinae, the basins for washing hands and vessels during Mass. There is also an aumbry or cupboard for the church vessels.

The nave has been largely rebuilt but still retains the characteristics of the Early English period. There is a well moulded hood ending in heads, particularly a fine head of Our Lord.

tower, dating from 1330 - 1380, is peculiar in that it is wholly within the church. The south wall also dates from the decorated period, about 1350. On the outside are two Mass clocks, or scratch dials, used to tell people the time of services.


The stone
book-rest near the font, used for public readings of the Bible probably dates from this time.

boards showing the Lords prayer, the Creed and the Ten commandments which now hang under the tower would have started life where they could be easily seen by everyone, who could, in this way, be taught the rudiments of reading.

There is a Bible box, of unknown date but probably fifteenth century and two oak chests with the customary three keyholes-one each for the vicar and church wardens.

The paten has on it the word PATYNGHAM and it is recorded that the church at this time took possession of a silver chalice. The bells were recast in 1601.

There are no records of Pattingham suffering depredation during the Commonwealth; indeed the same incumbent remained in situ from 1647 to 1676. The present chalice was donated in 1664.

After the Great Fire of Pattingham in 1665, which devastated almost all of the village except the church, the king himself donated money to the rebuilding fund. The loyalty to the Stuart dynasty is demonstrated by the arms of Queen Anne on the west wall of the nave. An interesting benefaction board is dated 1710.

The most comprehensive rebuilding and reflirbishment of the building was carried out in the nineteenth century thanks to two remarkable men: Reverend W G Greenstreet who was vicar from 1844-1900 and the patron, the 5th Earl of Dartmouth. Work on the church began in 1856.

chancel, the nave and the south aisle were restored. The north aisle and the vestry were built, paid for by the vicar. The Earl donated the spire, built in 1871. The bells were re-hung in 1864 and two smaller bells added bringing the full peal to 8 bells weighing 57 cwt.

The Bells of St Chad's Church
Five bells were known to have existed in 1553. In 1724, records show that there were six bells cast by Joseph Smith. In 1864 they where retuned and augmented to eight by George Mears. They were rehung in 1897 (to commemorate the reign of Queen Victoria), 1928 (by Gillett & Johnston) and 1958 (again by Whitechapel who quarter-turned the bells and rehung them on new headstocks). This frequency was due, in part, to the movement of the tower and spire.
In 1992, after £60,000 was spent on strengthening the tower, they were rehung in a new metal frame and retuned by Whitechapel.

The weight of the tenor is 12 cwt 3 qtrs 6 lbs.

Full details of the bells, including their weights and inscriptions, are given in the table below.

 Details of the bells









 George Mears & Co.






 George Mears & Co.






 Joseph Smith






 Joseph Smith






 Joseph Smith






 Joseph Smith






 Joseph Smith






 Joseph Smith





For more information on the Bells of St Chad's Church and the Bell Ringers,
visit their website at

organ was first used at the Festival of St Bartholomew in 1873.

reredos of alabaster with glass mosaic behind the altar was erected in 1890.

Most of the stained glass is Victorian. Starting with the Adam and Eve window on the west wall of the north aisle, the glass in that aisle shows the heroes and heroines of the Old Testament.. The windows in the chance! tell the story of the life of Jesus. The Lady chapel shows the disciples and other leaders of the early church.. The south wall windows relate the parables and sayings of Jesus while that in the west wall by the font is dedicated to the Holy Family. The tower window in the west wall showing the resurrection was installed in 1893 the gift of 181 subscribers, in memory of William Walter, the 5th Earl of Dartmouth.

To commemorate Queen Victoria's diamond Jubilee the bells were re-hung and the clock and chimes restored.

The Lady Chapel was furnished in 1918 in memory of Brigadier General T A Wight Boycott DSO. The crucifix in the churchyard facing the shops was erected in memory of two grandsons of Rev.W G Greenstreet, killed in the 1914-18 war.

oak triptych in the north aisle, in memory of those who died in the Great War, was erected in 1920.

In 1933 the first electric blower for the organ was installed. The present pulpit was built in 1956.

A glass chalice made and engraved in a West Midlands glass factory was given in 1972 by members of the congregation to mark the 13O0th anniversary of the death of St Chad.

Villagers have continued to contribute generously to the upkeep of the building with substantial donations for major repairs to the flying buttresses (1960s) , the tower and bells (1980s) and the spire (1990s). The sundial in the churchyard was restored in 1977. The baptistry was furnished in 1981 in memory of Dennis Selby, a lay reader of this parish. The area inside the South Door was panelled in memory of Colonel Eric Butler in 1985.

The church continues to respond to the changing needs of the parish. An ambitious project, very successfully funded by generous donations and fund raising events, provided much needed toilet and kitchen facilities together with a new upper meeting room, the Loft. We pray that, with God's grace, this ancient church will continue to serve the community of Pattingham with Patshull during the third millennium.

The parish registers of St Chad, Pattingham commence in 1559. The original registers for the period 1559-1918 (Bapts), 1559-1936 (Mar) & 1559-1889 (Bur) are deposited at Staffordshire Record Office.
Bishops Transcripts, 1660-1874 (with gaps 1854-55 & 1858-59) are deposited at Lichfield Record Office.

A transcript of the registers of St Chad for the period 1559-1812 was published in 1934 by the Staffordshire Parish Registers Society and has been reprinted by the Birmingham & Midland SGH.
A transcript of the registers of St Chad for the period 1813-1874 (baptisms only) has been published by the Birmingham & Midland SGH.

Pattingham in the past

Imagine a dry and arid climate barely a thousand miles from the Equator. Hot northerly and easterly winds blow the sand into dunes. Temporary rivers bring down debris from higher land to the cast. This, say the geologists, was the scene two-hundred-and-twenty-five million years ago when the Triassic sandstones were formed.

Pattingham village stands on a strata of these rocks known as Keuper Sandstone and this strata covers most of the four square miles of the Civil Parish of Pattingham. The Keuper Sandstone comes to a sharp edge which runs across the parish as a continuation of Perton Ridge and it passes south of Great Moor, Little Moor and The Clive to the parish boundary at Rudge. South of the ridge an earlier Triassic rock, the Bunter Sandstone is covered in places by a thin layer of recent material.

The sea has flooded over the area twice since these rocks were laid down and other rocks have overlain the Triassic rocks, only to be removed by erosion and fracture as the movements of the European continent brought our land to its present position.
Within the last two million years periods of intense cold have covered the area with glaciers and these have assisted the erosion process. They also left a deposit of sand and gravel over the Keuper sandstone between Copley and Pasford.

In between successive cold periods forests flourished and, a quarter of a million years ago, before the last glaciation, men came to live here, sharing the land with elephants, rhinocerous, bison and cave lions.

Then the ice returned and it stayed until ten thousand years ago, when the temperate climate we now enjoy today established itself and the countryside became covered with thick woodlands. Men returned, first to the unforested higher lands and then, as they learned to grow their food, they cleared the trees and cultivated the land.

Celtic settlers spread slowly from Northern France. They came with skill in stone, pottery and metal working and here we have the first evidence of human presence in the village. A large gold torque - a strip of metal twisted into a spiral and turned at each end so that the ends can be hooked together to make a circle - was found in a field to the west of the church. This find was made in 1700 AD and it is reputed to have weighed three pounds, two ounces and to be four feet in circumference or fifteen inches in diameter. This ornament, probably used as a necklace, no longer exists.

There is no direct evidence of Roman occupation in the parish but the A5 eight miles to the north is on the line of the Roman road to Uriconium beyond the Wrekin. The Romans may also have used the ancient trackway which ran west from Greensforge, south of Swindon.

A much firmer indication of human occupation lies in the name of the village. This is definitely Anglo-Saxon. It is derived from the name of a Saxon family-the Peattas. Thus we have Part = Peatta's; ing = family or tribe; and ham = a homestead or settlement.

This part of England is thought to have been settled by the Anglo-Saxons around 550 AD They assimilated any existing British (and Christian) inhabitants and they brought with them a pagan religion that is still reflected in the names we use for the days of the week and in the names of towns such as Wednesbury (Wodens Burgh). They were probably converted to Christianity in the seventh century AD and they must have had a church here before the Norman Conquest.

The settlement was part of the Kingdom of Mercia and the last of the Saxon overlords of the village was Edwin, who was a grandson of Leofric, Earl of Leicester, and the Lady Godiva.

After the Norman Conquest in 1066, Edwin acknowledged the authority of William the Conqueror but he changed his mind later and rebelled, joining the forces of Hereward the Wake. William now owned Pattingham and it passed to William Rufus who gave it to the Conqueror's nephew, Hugh de Avranches, Earl of Chester.

The entry in Domesday Book gives a brief view of the condition of the village in the last half of the eleventh century. The translation goes thus :`The King holds Pattingham. Earl Algar held it. There are two hides (a hide was as much as could be tilled with a plough in a year). There is land for eight ploughs. There are three %illeins with a Priest and ten Cottagers who have three ploughs. The wood there is one mile long and half a mile wide. It was and is worth three pounds'.

After the Conquest Pattingham was touched only occasionally by the big events in English history. The second Earl of Chester had a daughter who married a Geoffrey Ridel and he succeeded to the ownership of the Manor of Pattingham. He lost his life in the White Ship disaster in 1126 A.D. and his daughter took possession of the village into the Basset family of Drayton Bassett who then owned the manor until 1390.

The Black Death (1348-50) must have changed the appearance of the countryside as the fields which had been cultivated quickly grew a cover of weeds for the lack of labour to plough them.

This was the period when the wool trade was growing in the area and the neighbouring town of Wolverhampton was gaining importance as a market for this product.

There was always a close connection between the church and the tenants of agricultural land and, in 1407, the vicar found himself in court for leading the tenants in a riot against the landlords.

Ownership of the manor passed through several hands until, eventually, it became the property of Henry VII in 1488. The King leased it to successive owners until it was seized by Cromwell in 1650. Cromwell then bestowed it on a man named Clement Throgmorton.

The religious differences of the times found expression locally. In 1644 it was suspected that Patshull Hall was housing a`Popish' garrison and it was successfully raided by a band of men commanded by a certain Captain Stone.

On September 10th, 1677 - eleven years after the Great Fire of London - Pattingham had its own fire. It destroyed the workshop of a locksmith, parts of his house and another house, and all of the church except the steeple and outer walls. At least three other houses were also severely damaged together with numerous outbuildings and stables. The total damage was assessed at £3,309 13s. 4d.

In 1732 the Astley family, who lived at Patshull Hall were the owners of the manor but they sold it to Lord Pigot whose family were owners of a famous diamond, the Pigot diamond, which was valued at £30,000 in 1771.

The end of the eighteenth century was evidently a time for rebuilding in the village and many of the older buildings date from this time. The growth of industry to the east was possibly responsible for this. There was certainly more variety in the activities carried on in the village than is the case today. Brickmaking, tanning, flour-milling and tailoring are among the occupations listed in old directories. These continued through the Victorian era and only died out when communications improved in the early part of this century.

In the nineteenth century Pattingham was a notorious place. Miners and ironworkers frorn the Black Country and the industrial belt of Wellington, Oakengates and the Severn Gorge came here for their sport. Bull baiting was enjoyed on the wide roadway between the church and The Pigot Arms, and this area is still called the Bull Ring by older residents. There were more public houses then for the refreshment of visitors and they were often open day and night.

The first Post Office was opened at Ivy House, Wolverhampton Road, in 1844 and the curate guaranteed the sum of £17 a year to defray the cost until such time as the Postal Department took over the responsibility.

The Pigot family left in 1848 and were succeeded by the fifth Earl of Dartmouth. The new Lord of the Manor soon made his mark on the parish with a programme of new building and it is possible to distinguish this work by the similarities in the architecture of several of the farm buildings and cottages.

A School had been established since just after 1684 but it had a fitful history. The building was used as a workhouse at one time. With the advent of compulsory education a sum was raised by subscription and the present buildings were commenced. The school was opened in 1875 and has been in continuous occupation since. It was taken over by Staffordshire County Council in 1903.

After the first World War there was a move to build a Village Hall. The Earl of Dartmouth gave the land and a wooden structure was erected and opened for use in 1922.

Communications began to improve. The telephone service had ten subscribers in 1925, a bus service to Wolverhampton started in 1925, and, in 1931, an electricity supply became available. Piped water came in 1939 and the sewerage system was installed in 1957. But it was not until 1965 that gas mains were laid to parts of the village.

The old Village Hall did good service but, in 1960, it was thought that it was time that the village had a more up-to-date building. The money was raised by voluntary effort and from local and Government grants and, in 1966 the present hall was opened.

The Church of St. Chad - POINTS OF INTEREST

Saxon Period.

Beyond the site and part foundation of the Chancel, nothing remains of the Saxon Church.

Norman Period.
It is practically certain that there was a wholly Norman Church, but only the arcade of two bays, on the North side of the Nave, remain of the Norman period, 1066-1100. A priest is mentioned in Doomsday Book, 1086.

The Chancel.
Early English, 1200-1240, may have succeeded the Saxon one. Note the sedilia, piscina and aumbry in the Chancel. The Reredos of alabaster was erected by the fifth Earl of Dartmouth. It is canopied and encloses a representation of Our Lord, in Majesty, executed in glass mosaic.

The Nave.
The arcade on the south side has been rebuilt, but retains its former characteristics of the Early English period. There is a well moulded hood ending in heads. Note the finely carved head of Our Lord.

The South Wall, about 1350, is of the decorated period. Note the survival of the two `Mass Clocks' or scratch dials on the outside of the wall.

The Tower is of the decorated period 1330-1380, peculiar by being wholly in the Church. The Spire was added in 1871.

The North Aisle and Vestry, built 1865. Note the Benefaction Board in the Vestry dated 1710, which is the oldest record now on the walls of the Church.

The Lady Chapel was furnished in 1918 in memory of Brig-General T. A. Wight Boycott, D.S.O.; against the East wall is hung his sword with a brass tablet contributed by his fellow officers. In 1939 the chapel was restored by W. R. Wilson, Esq., of Rudge Hall.

The Font, with octagonal basin, is part Norman work.

Stone Book-rest, near Font, used for the public reading of the Bible. The Choir Vestry in the west of the North Aisle was erected in 1954 from funds belonging to the Robert Howells Bequest. The oak panelling was designed by K. Vesmans, Guild Dipl. M.A. (Latvia) and the work carried out by C. Humphries, Contractor.

The Organ, 1873, by J. W. Walker & Sons. The electric blower was installed in 1938 as the gift of G. H. Turner, Esq. In 1959 the Organ was modernised with electric action, and in 1961 as a further gift of Mr. Turner the Great Organ was extensively overhauled and the electric blower improved.

The Pulpit was rebuilt and mounted on a base to correspond with the stonework of the Church in 1956, from funds remaining in the Robert Howells Bequest.

The Oak Chests in south aisle (and one in north aisle) with customary three keyholes for Vicar and Churchwardens. The Bells, eight in number. weight approximately 57 cwt. In 1957 the bells were rehung, with new headstocks, and turned to present an unworn surface to the blows of the clappers, by the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, an old established firm of four centuries experience. The two smallest bells were cast at their Foundry by George Mears in 1864.

The Carillon was restored to working order in 1955 as an anonymous gift of a member of the congregation. Made largely of wood the Carillon is like a large musical box, with steel pegs set in a wooden drum. As a weight drives the drum at a speed controlled by a set of wheels and an air brake, the pegs lift levers connected to hammers and so play the tune on the bells.

The Oak Triptych, in North aisle, erected 1920, in memory of men who fell in the Great War.

Bible Box, date unknown, now used for Altar Linen.


The Paten has on it the word `PATYNGHAM'.

The Manor Court Rolls of great interest, dating from 1312 to 1711, are now in the custody of the Salt Library, Stafford. The Churchwarden's Accounts are also preserved in the Church safe together with the Inclosure Award.

The Registers date back to 1559.

(As vou leave the Church, attention is drawn to the sketches near Font, dated 1796, showing the Tower without the Spire, also the Village Stocks and Mounting Block).
Churchyard. The Churchyard-cross on an ancient octagonal shaft, a monolith (crudely mended by insertions) standing 6 ft. (with cap and cross 8 ft.) high on three steps.
The Sundial, also on steps, has a plate (a renewal) dated 1818.

The Church is now without any ancient monuments, but mention is made of some of them in books of history.

The Litany Desk was given by Miss S. A. Holles.

The three North windows of the Chancel, 1876, given by and in memory of the Simmons' family.

On the South wall of the Chancel are windows in memory of Elizabeth Jane Greenstreet and Elizabeth 1liller.

In the South wall of the Chancel is a brass tablet to the Rev. W. j. Greenstreet.

By the Organ is a brass to Mary Catherine Hawley, Organist for thirty years.

The Screen to the Lady Chapel was the gift of William Simmons, 1881.

The beautiful East window (the twelve Apostles) and the window in the South wall are in memory of the Wight Boycott family; there are also other memorials to the same family, including a finely carved alabaster tablet.

Two Windows in the South aisle presented by 'Martha Simmons, 1876-7
An alabaster tablet commemorating the Faulkner family, 1875-1921.

The Tower window in the West, of very rich colouring, 1893, the gift of 181 subscribers in memory of William Walter, 5th Earl of Dartmouth.

In the North aisle are windows in memory of William Tomkins, 1890, John Tomkins and his wife, 1869, Anne Cooper, 1923, and Rev.W. G. Greenstreet, four years Curate and fifty-three years Vicar of this Parish (this window is by Kemp).

An alabaster memorial to Robert Howel]s. 1863, and family.

The Vestry window is to Jane Owen, and the two Vestry East windows are in memory of Andrew J. Chesterfield.

Lectern and Pulpit Light in memory of Rev. E. A. Austin-Smith.

To commemorate the reign of Queen Victoria the bells were re-hung by 'Thomas and Margaret B. Jones of the Elms. (Mr. Jones was sometime Gardener to Queen Victoria). At the same time, 1897, the Church Clock and chimes were restored by James Tomkins of Westbeech.

The chimes were again restored in 1935, in memory of William Poynton, who was Ringer for fifty years, Sexton twenty-two years and Chorister sixty-five years.

The Oak Chair in the Sanctuary is in memory of Harold Lumley Warner, who until 1960, had for many years been a member of the Church Council, a Sidesman, and for over thirty years a bell-ringer.

The East Window. This beautiful window depicting eight scenes from the life of Christ was given in 1955 by George and Harry Sellick Dyke in memory of Mary Ethel, the wife of Harry Sellick Dyke of Upper Westbeech, and also in memory of their parents John and Laura Reynolds Dyke of Willenhall.

Pattingham Local History & Civic Society

Pattingham Local History & Civic Society have transcribed the Pattingham Church records of baptisms, marriages and burials from 1559 to 1939 onto Excel and have hard copies sorted by surname to assist family history enquiries. We also have Patshull Church records from 1837 until its closure.

House histories of all the older houses in Pattingham and Patshull have been compiled using the census returns from 1841 to 1901, Enclosure Awards and Tithe Awards.

A comprehensive photograph archive dating from late Victorian times to presentday exists of buildings, events and people. This collection includes neighbouring hamlets and villages and currently is in excess off 2000 pictures.

The Society produces two very comprehensive newsletters a year, and has a programme of speaker meetings open to the public, and research meetings attended by members.

Edited versions of the newsletters are available for sale. However, copies are available to be seen in the waiting rooms of the Doctor, the Dentist, and Shelleys hairdresser, as well as in Perton and Codsall Libraries, and The Salt Library, Stafford.

The Society has over 60 members.

Contact: Peter Leigh
Glebe View, 2 St. Mary's Close, Albrighton, Shropshire WV7 3EG
Telephone: 01902 372231

Parish Records for Pattingham, St Chad

Historic records of St Chad, Pattingham have been deposited at Staffordshire Record Office, where they are available for consultation by the public. These include the parish registers of baptisms 1559-1918, marriages 1559-1936 and burials 1559-1889; parish officers’ accounts, 1586-1692 (particularly notable); vestry minutes 1842-1829; parish poor law papers 17th-19th centuries; and much more.

A catalogue of these records is available in "Gateway to the Past" (http://www.archives.staffordshire.gov.uk) - the online catalogue of the Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Archive Service.

The Archive Service's website (
http://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/archives) provides further information on planning a visit to the office to consult records, should you wish to do so.

Parish Records for Patshull, St Mary
Historic records of St Mary, Patshull have been deposited at Staffordshire Record Office, where they are available for consultation by the public. These include the parish registers of baptisms 1559-1812, marriages 1559-1835 and burials 1559-1812; parish officers’ accounts 1689-1718, 1731-1805; vestry minutes 1851-1902; parish poor law papers mainly 18th century; and more.

A catalogue of these records is available in "Gateway to the Past" (http://www.archives.staffordshire.gov.uk) - the online catalogue of the Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Archive Service.

The Archive Service's website (
http://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/archives) provides further information on planning a visit to the office to consult records, should you wish to do so.