The earliest reference to Childwall is to be found in the Domesday Book, which was compiled by order of William I in 1086. A translation reads:-
“Four Radmans held Childwall as four manors. There is half a hide. It was worth eight shillings. There was a priest, having half a curucate of land in frank almoign.”
The presence of a priest indicates that there was probably a chapel here in the 11th century, though there are few, if any, remains left now.
In 1094, Childwall became attached to the priory of Lancaster, a cell of the Abbey of St. Martin at Seez, Normandy, and it remained so until the thirteenth century when the patronage passed to the Grelleys, barons of Manchester.
Sir Robert de Holland in 1309 assigned Childwall to his college of secular canons at Upholland, near Wigan. Ten years later the endowments were assigned to the new priory of St. Thomas the Martyr at Upholland: Childwall was included among the endowments. The patronage of the church belonged to the monks of the order until the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII in 1536; it then passed to the newly created See of Chester in 1557-8.
At present the patronage is vested in the See of Liverpool, as it has been since the creation of the See in 1880.
The dedication of the church is to All Saints, but there is no evidence of this beyond modern ascription. On the other hand a fourteenth century document contains a reference to St. Peter of Childwall; making it seem like that the ancient dedication was to the Apostle Peter.
The Parish of Childwall is fortunate in possessing a valuable set of records of births, marriages and burials covering almost the entire period from 1557 to the end of the 18th century. They are detailed thus in the Church Terrier* for 1778-
- 1557-1612 (sound and entire)
- 1653-1703 (much torn and imperfect)
- 1703-1753 (very clean and correct)
- 1753 (in use)
- 1754-1772 (marriages only)
- 1772 (in use: marriages only)
Since then some of the records have been found, accounting for the years 1625-1638: they were in very bad condition, but were repaired as far as possible and placed with the other records in 1912, having been missing for at least 130 years.
*Church Terrier: A statement of the assets belonging to the church at any specific time
Today the Parish Registers still date back to 1557 and are 95% complete.
It is not our policy to open the registers for inspection in order to protect them from wear and tear. Our only exception may be for academic research when other avenues have been exhausted. Copies of our records, however, may be found in the local record library.
For records 1557 – 1753, these have been reproduced in two volumes by The Lancashire Parish Register Society and should be able to be found or obtained to be viewed at your local records library.
For searching for information, we are instructed to charge a fee, set by the Church of England. The current schedule of fees can be found at www.cofe.anglican.org/lifeevents/fees.
Payments should be made to “PCC All Saints’ Childwall” and sent to
The Records Manager,
All Saints Church Childwall,
Childwall Abbey Road