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The owner of the coffin shaped tomb on the south side of the church had been the subject of speculation for many years. It has no legible inscription on it to identify it. It belonged to Dr. John Medd who was a surgeon, apothecary and man-midwife. On it was his name and those of his wife Sarah and two of their ten sons. From the south-east corner of this tomb, walking diagonally you will find the gravestone of these two sons, John and Alfred.

At one time the family lived at the Three Shires in Great Underbank before moving to the Mansion House in High Street where he died in 1862.

He was one of the surgeons who were called upon to try and identify the severely burnt bodies of some of the 20 people who were killed in the boiler explosion at Henry Marsland’s Park Mills in 1851.

Dr. Medd attended to the injured after the accident on Mealhouse Brow during the celebrations for the second anniversary of the opening of Vernon Park on September 21st 1860. This was a day-long celebration on the Cheadle Wakes Monday with a three hour procession around the town ending at Vernon Park for the laying of the foundation stone for the observatory (which was never built). At 7 o’clock in the evening there was a fireworks display in the Market Place which was to be followed by another one in the New Market in Middle Hillgate. A large crowd stampeded down the narrow road to rush to the second display and six people were trampled to death and another six badly injured in the confusion. He was one of the doctors who treated them at the Albion Inn at the bottom of the brow.

He was also one of the directors of the Stockport and District Water Board at the time when it was applying to obtain new water supplies from Lyme Park.

Of his ten sons, three became clergymen and one of these had entered the Royal Navy aged 12 before taking up his studies. Two were surgeons and one was a barrister in London. The other four died in childhood.
His son, John who he had been in partnership with, was the first person to cross St. Petersgate Bridge. He paid workmen £1 to put planks across the bridge before it was completed so he could do it.

John Medd’s will shows that he died a wealthy man with a legacy of £6000.


1. Dr. Medd’s tomb. 2. Transcription, 1882. 3. Children’s gravestone. 4. Three Shires. 5. Mansion House on High Street. 6. Park mills fire. 7. Mealhouse Brow. 8. The Albion.


Coffin shaped grave monument surrounded by iron posts/railings
Dr Medd’s grave in St. Mary’s Churchyard



Handwritten document with dates and drawings of inscriptions
Inscription of John Medd’s tomb



Children's graves not far from their father
Graves near to Dr. Medd’s in St. Mary’s Churchyard



Victorian dressed people go about their business outside the black and white timber building
Thee Shires, Chestergate



Double bay fronted three storey house
Mansion House on High Street



View from across the river of the large mill on fire
Park Mills Fire



View up the brow with shops on either side
Mealhouse Brow from Hillgate



View of the pub on the corner of Little Underbank and Mealhouse Brow
The Albion








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