The village of Wybunbury is recorded as being one of the earliest settlements in Cheshire. It is said to take its name from ‘Wigbeorn’s manor’ or stronghold. It is possible that he built a fortified residence of some sort on a site not far from a source of water. Old maps show the location of a moated site with a drawbridge, Hall Bank near Wybunbury Brook. The outline of the site is still visible today from the top of Wybunbury Tower.
Wybunbury was in Mercia, an Anglo-Saxon region in the North-west that was settled on loose tribal boundaries before the country was organised into shires. Wybunbury was already well established before the invasion of William the Conqueror in 1066 and is mentioned in the Domesday book of 1086.
Wybunbury Moss is a National Nature Reserve (NNR) and Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) near the village of Wybunbury in Cheshire, England. It is a raised lowland bog, and a rare British example of a schwingmoor and a ‘subsidence mire’ (only two other British examples of the latter exist: Brookhouse Moss SSSI between Congleton and Sandbach, also in Cheshire, and Chartley Moss NNR in Staffordshire).
The site was first notified as an SSSI in 1951, and designated as an NNR in 1955, with further acquisitions added to the protected area in 1957 and 2009. It is owned and managed by Natural England.
The most important part of the site is a central schwingmoor, a peat bog, in places only a metre thick, floating on a water-filled basin over 12 metres (39 ft) deep. This may have occurred because of subsidence of salt-bearing rocks below the site, also the cause of undermining of the nearby Wybunbury Tower, which leans from the vertical and has required underpinning.
The floating part of the bog is dominated by Sphagnum mosses and common cotton-grass, with cranberry, cross-leaved heath and round-leaved sundew also present.
The reserve is important for its invertebrates, which include 95% of the British population of the ten-spotted pot beetle, Cryptocephalus decemmaculatus.
There are no public rights of way within the nature reserve, but a permitted wildlife walk leaves a public footpath north of Wybunbury Tower, running west over boardwalks towards the centre of the reserve, before heading north through woodland to rejoin the footpath network south of Cockshades Farm. The central, wettest part of the moss is not publicly accessible for safety and conservation reasons and can only be visited by permit-holders or by arrangement with Natural England.
the leaning tower
Wybunbury village lies within South Cheshire, the village falls 5 miles south of Crewe and 3.5 miles east of Nantwich. One of the main features of Wybunbury is the medieval Tower. The Tower dominates the village and its surrounding countryside. It is a Grade A listed building, 96 feet high dating from the 15th Century. The Tower stands on a small hill at the junction of Main Road and Bridge Street, in the centre of a Conservation Area. Wybunbury Church was built in 1893.
The Church was at some time dedicated to the Mercian Bishop of St. Chad who established his See at Lichfield in 669. Known as the ‘Hanging Steeple of Wybunbury’ because of its tendency to lean, the Tower has undergone two remarkable feats of engineering to straighten it. The Church was demolished in 1977.
A new Church for Wybunbury was soon built on a new site further down Main Road ‘St Chad’s Church’. The Tower remained intact on the churchyard grounds, in splendid isolation as a landmark for South Cheshire. The Tower now belongs to the people of Wybunbury, who formed a Trust to save it and its six bells in 1983. Below are current pictures of St Chad’s Church, Main Road and also the Tower.
You can find out more information about the Wybunbury Tower by downloading the PDF below