Thank you for all your interest and comments on part one of the visit to Stoke Minster. It is now time for part two which, as you probably guessed, is about the interior. As I mentioned in part one this is the third church building on or near this site. The corner stone of the new church was laid on 26th June 1826 and the building completed in 1829 at a cost of over £14,000 pounds. The architects and builders were Trubshaw and Johnson of Haywood and the church was built with stone from nearby Hollington where there is still a large stone works today. It was consecrated on 1st August 1830.
The date of 1st of August was chosen because of the church's dedication to St Peter ad Vincula whose festival falls on that day which is also the festival of Lammastide. As industry, in particular the pottery industry, grew in Stoke and the surrounding areas the festival was celebrated for a week and even up until the 1970s it was known as Stoke Wakes week.
The growing population were catered for in the addition of the galleries. The old church could seat about 640 people the new one could accommodate over 1,500 people.
Above on the balcony over the nave you can see the church's organ and below the floor of the chancel is covered with Minton tiles
Either side of the nave and in the foyer are also Minton Hollins tiles. Each one is a memorial tile and they give a fascinating insight into the ages and occupations of the people they are dedicated to.
One of the dedications I noticed was to 'Samuel and Jane Stevens and Sarah Ann Evans, their niece who perished on the Anglo Saxon near Cape Race, Newfoundland on April 27th 1863' - here is a link to more information. The Anglo Saxon was a steam ship which was headed for Quebec with passengers from both Liverpool and Londonderry.
The font is Anglo Saxon and belonged to the old church. When this was demolished it was moved to the home of one of the patrons a Mr John Tomlinson who for many years used it as a plant container in his garden. It was returned in 1876 and finally restored in 1932 and placed back within the church. There is evidence on the font that it had been given a hinged and lockable lid at some point probably when in 1236, Edmund Archbishop of Canterbury gave out instructions that all font lids must be firmly secured.
In the chancel are many memorials to the famous pottery families like the Wedgwood, Spodes and Couplands. Above is the memorial to Josiah Wedgwood I and next to that a memorial to his wife Sarah. Also on the memorial is a dedication to one of their sons Tom Wedgwood who was an early pioneer in the science of photography. Here is a link to a little more about him.
The crucifix above was donated by the family of the legendary local footballer Sir Stanley Matthews after his death in 2000. It belonged to his wife Lady Mila into whose family it was given for protection from looting during the second world war. The crucifix went with the Matthews to Malta and then came back to England to Sir Stanley's home in Penkull in the city.
Up on the balcony is a chapel, formerly known as the Warrior's Chapel, which commemorates all those who were lost in the Great War. The chapel is now known as the Peace Chapel.
Opposite the chapel is a most amazing window created by artists from the Burslem School of Art.
I've been trying to find out more about the window but can't seem to find anything on line. The church guidebook, written by local historian Richard Talbot states that the chapel 'consists of a stained glass window, carved oak panelling for the walls and a screen to divide the chapel from the rest of the church' he also says that the chapel was 'desgined by one of the church wardens and the City Arts Director' in 1921. I'm not sure whether this includes the window.