History of Darnhall, and Over

The village of Over, which has been recorded in the Doomesday book, is steeped in royalty and history. The exact date of there being a tavern of the site has not been determined yet but we're researching it, what we do know is that locals have been enjoying a drink within its walls for a long time. Centuries.

Kings Henry III and Edward I occasionally held court at Darnhall, the latter king founded Vale Royal Abbey at Darnhall, but then moved it in 1277 to near Whitegate. By around 1280, a charter had been granted to form a new town near the Abbey, centred on the present-day Delamere Street in Winsford. From this charter can be traced the origins of the market that is still held in the town.

St Chad's Church, DarnhallSt Chad's church, which lies just down the byway behind the Old Star has been there since the 14th Century. This church, off Swanlow Lane, is the most well-known local historical landmark.

One of the most popular local stories is that St Chad's Church was originally built in Over Square, but the devil was so angry at the people's use of it that he decided to fly off with it. The monks at Vale Royal Abbey were said to have seen him and rung the abbey bells so that it was dropped at its current location. In fact, its location is probably due to it having always belonged, along with its tithes, to St Mary's Convent in Chester. This presumably convinced the Abbot to build the town far enough away from the Church in order to gain the tithes himself.

Relics of those feudal days still exist and the landlord of the Old Star is responsible for the cost of repairing the church roof, should it collapse. Also down the by way lies the Blue Bell Inn by St Chad's Church, now a children's nursery,it is an exact replica of a medieval pub that burned down in the 1960s.

Full History
For a full history and a list of landlords going back to the 18th Century please click here to download a PDF written by Tony Bostock - for more information on Tony visit his web site at www.tonybostock.com

Ghostly Goings On!
More history of a ghostly sort is available: click here to download this PDF by Paul Hurley telling of some tragic events that have occurred during The Old Star's long history. Paul is a local historian and author - his web site is here: www.paul-hurley.co.uk

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