The Parishes of Dunham Massey

St Margaret’s History

History

St. Margaret’s church was commissioned by George Harry Grey, 7th Earl of Stamford and designed by architect William Hayley. The building was dedicated in memory of Lord Stamford’s sister Margaret; construction began in 1851 and was completed in 1855. We are looking forward to celebrating the 170th anniversary in 2025.

St. Margaret’s church was commissioned by George Harry Grey, 7th Earl of Stamford and designed by architect William Hayley. The building was dedicated in memory of Lord Stamford’s sister Margaret; construction began in 1851 and was completed in 1855. We are looking forward to celebrating the 170th anniversary in 2025.

St. Margaret’s is grade II* listed. The building’s architectural style is perpendicular and it is brick built with Yorkshire stone wall-facings. The interior is most impressive, including a hammer beam roof with carved angels, modelled on Westminster Hall in London. A large reredos, modelled on the Henry VII chapel in Westminster Abbey, and an elegant plaster sanctuary ceiling are other notable features. The tower has a peal of ten bells cast in 1854 by John Taylor.

Notable clergy & congregation

Rev Hewlett Johnson: who later became the’ Red Dean’ of Canterbury, was the incumbent from 1908 – 1919. His unconventional views on war caused him to be rejected as an army chaplain but he officiated at prisoner of war camps in the parish. He left St Margaret’s to become an honorary canon at Chester Cathedral in 1919 and subsequently Dean of Canterbury in 1935.

Rev Geoffrey Studdart Kennedy: better known as ‘Woodbine Willie’, regularly preached at St Margaret’s. He was famed during the First World War for giving Woodbine cigarettes and spiritual sustenance to injured and dying soldiers.

The Emperor of Ethiopia , Haille Selassie, worshipped here whilst in exile in Bath following the Italian invasion of Ethiopia during the Second World War.