St. Stephens, The Chapel in the Forest, Cheshire
High above Macclesfield Forest and on the very edge of the moors stands this rugged but beautiful little church. It would appear isolated with only a Manor House, a couple of Farms and an Old School House in close proximity. It was once one of three Chapels for this rural farming area known as Macclesfield Forest, now St. Stephens is the only one that provides a regular place of worship.
Dating back to 1673 and renovated in 1834, the simple rugged exterior with its saddleback roofed square bell tower is matched by an equally rugged interior…
Simple and practical, a stone flagged floor, solid oak beams are a contrast with a more delicate white wooden pulpit and simple alter behind which a Stained Glass window adds a hint of colour. Simple though it is there is however a rather magical feel to the building and explains why folk still wish to be married here.
As mentioned St. Stephen is in an isolated location which is probably best illustrated from the graveyard with all its ancient headstones, each telling its own story…
Macclesfield Forest is the area of Rainow and Wildboarclough, that stands on the high ground to the south east of the Silk Town of Macclesfield. It is firmly and proudly in the county of Cheshire but is also on the very edge of the Derbyshire Moorlands and is within the Peal District National Park. So any inquisitive visitor will enjoy discovering this little historic gem but also a some beautiful yet vary varied scenery from wooded dales, many streams and then the open moors.
(C) David Oakes 2018