Bruera, St Mary the Virgin
St Mary's is essentially Norman with C14th and C15th windows and a South Chapel added in the late C15th.
A timber belfry placed over a broad square tower base is a quirky external feature.
The church was thoroughly restored in 1896 by WM Boden funded by the 1st Duke of Westminster. There is a fine Arts & Crafts stained glass window in the chancel. Most of the furnishings are C19th, with two medieval painted figures in the chancel.
The South Chapel houses marble monuments to Sir Ellis Cunliffe (1717-1767), a merchant and MP for Liverpool.
The church is of high significance for its medieval fabric and its later furnishings of note.
The church yard has a number of ancient yew trees and a stone cross which has been converted to a sundial and is a Scheduled Ancient Monument.
St Mary's has a very long-established colony of brown long-eared bats with pipistrelles also thought to be using the building.
The main concentration of droppings is in the chancel with additional flight scatter in the nave, chapel and organ chamber. The altar, choir stalls, floor, pulpit and organ need to be protected by covers at all times, and the extra cleaning required is a burden on the small team of volunteers.
St Mary's is working with the Bats in Churches project to find out how the bats are using the church, and to come up with sustainable solutions to reduce the mess, smell and nuisance without harming the bats.
With support from the Bats in Churches project bat boxes have been put up on trees in the church yard by the Cheshire Bat Group to provide alternative roost options for the church bats.