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The present day church is dedicated to the holy cross and consisted of  a nave, chancel south aisle
separated from the body of the church by four arches, pierced through the original outer wall, a porch,
and a fine embattled tower ornamented with shields and carvings and supported by buttresses of
extraordinary size and thickness.  The church was build about the close of the 14th century.  The
south aisle and porch are of the perpendicular order and were built in 1584.   The chancel is
separated from the nave by an open screen and the ends of the chancel stalls are quaintly carved
and very ancient.  The base of the tower forms a baptistery in which the octangular font sits, which is
decorated with coats of arms and shields.  The font is considered unique and it is considered that
there are not more than two in the kingdom of greater antiquity or more exquisite design.  There is
also a fine peal of six bells.   

The church underwent much refurbishment and restoration in 1874 and the fine oak beam of the nave
were uncovered many years before in 1844 having previously been hidden by a low ceiling.  The old
oak pews have been cleverly transformed into open sittings.  The church is now specially notable for
its fine collection of stained glass windows which certainly cannot be approached by any other church
in Wirral.  

There are monumental records within the church especially of Hockenbulls of Prenton, once large land
owner but now extinct; and the Hiccocks lords of the manor in the 17th century.  There are also
marble sculptured tablets to the memory of  Smith & King family.  There is also a large flag which was
recovered from the wreck of HMS Captain.

The church contains an organ and 342 sittings of which there are appropriated among the
parishioners 252, to the children 46 and free 44.  The registers commence in 1572.  

In the church yard are many modern monuments including a loft marble shaft and cross to the
memory of John R Shaw of Arrowe who died in 1881 and a massive block of granite surmounted by a
marble figure of Mercy to the memory of John Monk who died 1884.  Here also buried are John
Sommerville Jackson, one of the founders of Birkenhead who died in 1860; Colonel Vincent King died
1882; Pryce Morris died 1883 and Reverend William A Tattersall, Vicar of Oxton died 1884.  In the
older portion is a stone recording the deaths of Mary Owen in 1799 ages 102 years and John Mellor in
1883 aged 98 years !  As further proof of the salubrity of the parish it may be interesting to note that
Mr Thomas Pealin completed at Easter 1887 his Jubilee of fifty years service as parish clerk and was
presented with an address.

The parsonage house adjoins the church.  It is a handsome brick edifice for the erection of which a
licence was granted in 1709; it was rebuilt in 1862.


- Description given by Philip Sulley in 1889 as part of his book "The Hundred of Wirral".
Holy Cross Woodchurch
Holy Cross Parish Woodchurch