THESE stunning night-time images of St Mary’s Church in Eastham were taken by Wirral Globe Camera Club member Harry Smith.

Although the current building dates mainly from 1876 and 1880, it contains architecture from many periods and it is thought a place of worship has been here since before the time of the Domesday Book, which mentions a priest at Eastham.

Some of the masonry in the north wall dates from the 12th century while the nave dates mainly from the 13th century, the tower originated in the 14th century and the aisles in the 15th century.

The church was extensively restored in the 1860s by John Douglas, an architect from Chester who designed over 500 buildings in Cheshire, North Wales and north west England.

Interesting features inside the church include a 16th-century oaken parish chest at least nine feet in length and a 12th-century Norman font.

Tombs remembering Charlotte, Lady Stanley, who died in 1662, and Sir William Stanley, who died in 1612, are also present along with memorials in the church to Sir Rowland Stanley, who died in 1613, Lady Haggerston, who died in 1836, and Sir Thomas Stanley Massey Stanley, who died in 1841.

The Stanleys were a Wirral family who had made important alliances with the leading families of Lancashire and Cheshire and whose seat was at Storeton Hall.

Lord Thomas Stanley was made the 1st Earl of Derby in 1485 after the Battle of Bosworth when Richard III lost the crown of England to Henry Tudor.

In fact, it was Lord Stanley who recovered the crown of the slain Richard III and placed it on his stepson Henry Tudor’s head and since then the history of the Stanley family has been closely intertwined with the history of the country as a whole.

In the churchyard, you can find a sundial dating from 1798 along with an ancient yew tree which is thought to have been in existence since 1152.

In addition, the churchyard contains the war graves of 14 service personnel from the First World War, and a Merchant Navy officer from the Second World War.

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