The Cheekes were an important family in St Sidwell’s, involved in the brewing trade. During the Civil War local legend has it that George Cheeke saved the bells of Allhallows church on Goldsmith Street from being smelted down for cannon balls by the parliamentarians. He went by night into the city and removed them to St Sidwell’s church, where they have remained ever since. Other sources state that St Sidwell’s bells were bought from Allhallows church in 1767. The street almost opposite the church still commemorates the family as Cheeke Street and the Victorian church had a memorial for them on the east side of the porch and a sculptured beer cask in one of the arches.
This reconstruction drawing by Richard Parker shows St Sidwell’s in about 1530 and features the Cheeke family mansion in the lower right foreground. It is shown with lovely private knot gardens: