This year our main visit was to Sandon Estate church on one of its rare open days.



The church is not generally open to the public, so when one of our members spotted that they were having an open day on September 14th we took advantage of it.

The manor belonged to Earl Algar but after the conquest passed to Hugh Lupus (1st Earl of Chester) and then to the De Malbanks (who probably held of the Earls of Chester) before coming into the possession of the Erdeswicke family.[1] There is a fine Jacobean mansion on the estate but this is a private residence and not open to the public.

The church was founded by the De Malbanks and dates from the late 12th or early  13th century  though it was virtually rebuilt c. 1300 . There are armorial wall paintings, the font dates from 1669 and the pulpit and pews are Jacobean. It is a Grade 1 listed building.[2] The most famous monument is that of the antiquarian, Sampson Erdeswicke, who designed the monument himself two years before his death.[3]


He was born at Sandon and educated at Brasenose College, Oxford, after which he resumed the life of a country gentleman. His father, Hugh Erdeswicke was a staunch Roman Catholic who in 1582 was reported to the Privy Council by the Bishop of Coventry as "the sorest and dangerousest papist, one of them, in all of England". Sampson followed his father's Roman Catholicism and was known as a recusant but seems to have escaped serious prosecution.

Sampson devoted himself to antiquarian studies, in particular, the history of Staffordshire. His "Survey of Staffordshire" is the work for which he is now chiefly remembered. It was only published after his death but had circulated in various manuscript forms before that.


[1]    ukga.org

[2]    britishlistedbuildings.co.uk

[3]    ibid.

Sandon Church
Armorial Wall Painting
Tomb of Antiquarian Sampson Erdeswicke d 1603
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