About St Mary's
St Mary's Knockin is a Church of England Church and is part of the Joint Benefice of Kinnerley with Melverley, Knockin with Maesbrook and Maesbury, in the Diocese of Lichfield. We aim to work together for the benefit of all parishoners within our communities.
We welcome people who might be moving into our area, visiting or holidaying here or wishing to get married in our beautiful church.
Short History of Knockin Church & Village
Knockin Castle was built on the Welsh border by the Normans in the 12th century. All that remains of the Castle is the tree covered mound close to the road. The church was built between 1182 and 1195 by Ralph de Strange as a chapel to the adjacent castle. Prior to this Knockin was part of Kinnerley parish where there had been a church since the 6th century. In 1197 Knockin church was separated from the mother church at Kinnerley, creating disputes over tithes. Burials still took place at Kinnerley with the burial records kept there.
Records and accounts started being kept at Knockin after 1660. The 1676 census showed:
Church of Eng!and - 65
Roman Catholic - nil
Non-Conformist - nil.
Sir John Bridgeman became patron of Knockin in 1680. Later his family was raised to the peerage taking the title' Earl of Bradford'.
The churchyard was enclosed by a wall in 1817 and that from that time all burials have taken place in Knockin. In 1872 a lych gate was erected.
Since 1975 the parish has been one of four parishes in the united benefice of Kinnerley with Melverley and Knockin with Maesbrook. In 2011 The Parish of Maesbury joined the united benefice. The Rector now lives in the vicarage in Kinnerley.
The church is mainly built of sandstone. A small belfry has been added on the west end and is of yellow brick, where hangs the one bell which dates back to the 17th century. The red sandstone porch was added in 1920 in memory of the Rev N G Walker. As you enter the church on the left is the font. This is Norman and dates back to the 12th century. In 1767 a terrible fire gutted the church. The north aisle was removed and the Norman arches filled in. The blocked up Norman arches can be seen on the left as you walk up the aisle. The church was again restored in 1846 when the south transept was added. Between 1900 and 1910 the chancel was enlarged. The oak pulpit and lectern were carved by Thomas Harris, a local carpenter. The organ was installed in 1907 and has always been played by a member of the Owen family. The gallery was removed in 1920, and in 1956 the roof was renewed and the transept rafters altered. The stained glass windows above the altar are dedicated to the memory of George Cecil Orlando Bridgeman, 4th Earl of Bradford 1845-1915. It shows Jesus, his mother Mary in whose name the church is dedicated, and John.
Knockin village and its surrounding farms belonged to the Bradford estate for many generations. Near Knockin Hall is the 'The Avenue', a fine avenue of mature trees along the main road east of the village. The avenue and village centre have been designated a conservation area as a fine example of an estate village.
The building on the opposite side of the main road to the church gate is the old forge. Generations of the Maddox family were blacksmiths here. William Madocke was paid in the church wardens accounts of 1664 for mending the church chest.
Built into the stream, opposite the castle mound, is the old sheep wash which has recently been restored, as has the old pound which is just below the road to Maesbrook, at the other end of the village.
There are two fine half-timbered houses one at each end of the village, but behind their brick facades many of the houses in the main street are several hundred years old.
The Radio Telescope by the Kinnerley Road is part of the University of Manchester Jodrell Bank Merlin Telescope which is controlled from Jodrell Bank in Cheshire.