Martin J. Harding David Herbert Somerset Cranage.

An architectural account of the churches of Shropshire, Volume 1, Parts 4-5 online

. (page 16 of 19)
Online LibraryMartin J. Harding David Herbert Somerset CranageAn architectural account of the churches of Shropshire, Volume 1, Parts 4-5 → online text (page 16 of 19)
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hand.

The pulpit is Jacobean, and so are some of the pews. There
is some Jacobean carving on the back of the chair within the communion
rails. Rarely does one now see, as here, a squire*s pew with table and
cushioned seats all round it There are new oak choir seats and reading desk.

At the west end of the church is a double bell-gable, supported
by a thickening of the wall, which takes the form of a hood over the west
window. It is generally impossible to date such bell-gables, as there is hardly
ever any detail about them which marks any particular period. The west
wall, below the window, has been broken into for some purpose ; probably
not for a doorway, as the disturbance only reaches to a height of about 5 ft.
from the ground. The porch is a rough erection with a plain pointed arch :
there is nothing to indicate its date.

The parish roister begins with the year 1597 and is fairly
complete.



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Ulinirtnton.

m. lolm t\ft Haptist

JHE reparation of this church in 1859 was not sufficient to
prevent further dilapidation, and the structural state leaves
much to be desired. The walls generally are in a bad
condition : the west wall has been repaired with brick, and
there are large brick props to the north wall of the chancel.
The date is uncertain, but there are two details which
suggest the 1 2th century : one is the round scoinson arch
of the north window, and the other is the remains of what
looks like a Norman string-course at the east end of the
nave. Both however are so heavily covered with colour
wash that their original character may be obliterated. The
plain pointed south doorway may be 13th or 14th century
work, and the two-light square-headed cusped window east
of it is a form often seen in the Perpendicular or the latter part of the
Decorated period. The south window of the chancel is of a very unusual
kind : underneath a wide segmental arch is a rectangular opening, which has
been shuttered ; below is a well-like sedile ; there is no clue to the date.
The opening in the west wall is a rectangular slit, and the other windows
are modern, including the outer stonework of the north window mentioned
above. The font is a very peculiar erection, consisting of four pieces. The
basin is round and plain, and shews remains of the locking fixtures. This
rests on a very rough projectini^ octai^onal slab, below which is the base
made up of two stones : the lower of these has large terminating ornaments
on the diagonal faces. The date of the font is a puzzle, and one can hardly
suppose that the original arraniaunent is preserved. The bowl may be I2th
century, but the base can hnrclly be earlier than the 14th.

The woodwork is of some interc^st The chancel roof has two
purlins on each side and excellent ornamental purl in -braces : one truss has
a tie-beam and a collar, and the other a collar only. The date may be
15th century. The nave is rovred by a rough trussed -rafter roof, two of
the cants being slightlv curved : there is a ^^reat strengthening beam across
the church near the west wall. There is very little internal support to the
small and poor western bell-turret. The communion table is old, dating



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419 THE CHURCHES OF SHROPSHIRE.



from Elizabethan or Jacobean times : the rails, of about the same period,
have been considerably repaired. Against the west wall are the remains of
a fine Jacobean pew of similar character to that at Stokesay (see p. 162) :
here, however, there is no trace of a ceiling. The support to the wall
between nave and chancel is a poor modern erection in wood. On either
side of the porch are five modem wooden arches resting on older uprights
of similar material. The brackets on the south face are of Jacobean
character, and may be Jacobean in date. The repairs appear to have been
done in 1859. I hardly like to fix the date of the spirited but shallow leaf
carving on the front.

The registers only date from 18 13, the old ones being
unfortunately lost



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Matt.

JHIS church consists of continuous nave and chancel, vestry
on the north side of the chancel, long transept on the north
side of the nave, and western tower.

The tower is probably the oldest feature, but it
possesses no detail by which one can date it at all accurately.
There arc no buttresses. The windows on the first floor are
merely rectangular slits. The only other window, that
on the ground floor in the west wall, is modern. As there
is no tower arch, one concludes that the tower was an
addition to an earlier nave. There was a church here at
least as early as 1220, and there is nothing to shew that the
tower may not date as far back as the 13th century. The
roof assumes that peculiar double pyramidal form which has
been referred to under Hopesay (see p. 401), and which is described more
fully and illustrated under Clun. Under the top pyramid at More is an
opening, almost continuous all round the tower, with vertical strips of wood
at short intervals. Lower down is a narrow hood over another opening with
horizontal strips, and below again are the sloping roofs which rest on the
walls of the tower proper. Much of the upper detail has clearly been
renewed in modern times, and there is very little to indicate when the tower
assumed this peculiar appearance. The question is more fully discussed
under Clun.

The nave and chancel were rebuilt in the year 1845 by the
Rev. T. F. More. The architecture is dull in the extreme, as one might
expect at that period. The buttresses are poor, thin things, and the windows
are all lancets, except the east window, which is of two cusped lights with
a cinquefoil in the head: it is filled with the dark coloured glass which was
fashionable half a century ago. There is no outer doorway to nave or
chancel, the main entrance to the church being through the tower, which
has an outer doorway in its south wall consisting of a large modem arch
moulded with broad and shallow hollows. There is some Jacobean carving
on the reading desk and some of the pews ; but the pulpit and most of the
pews are of poor modern character, a remark which also applies to the
" Gothic " standards. The round font is modem, and so is the gallery which



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rests on iron supports and is lighted by a skylight It is approached by
a staircase in the tower which leads through a lai^e chamber containing
some interesting features. There is an old chest which has no less
then seven locks and two staples for padlocks : how many of these
were used at one time I cannot say. There are two panelled Jacobean
cupboards, which contain a library of books given by Richard More in
Charles II.'s reign " to teach the minister sound doctrine.'*

The long north transept is a very unusual feature in a
parish church. It is mainly a mortuary chapel and squire's pew for the
More family, who have owned most of or all the land in the parish since
the 1 2th century. The date of the greater portion of the transept is
given by the inscription on a handsome armorial monument against the
west wall : —

RiCHARDVS More armr

DNVS MANERIJ ET HVIVS

ECCLIiB VaTRONVS HOC

EDIFICAVIT CV CRYPTA

SVBTERRANEA IN LOCV

SEPVLTVR/E SIBI SVISQ

PROPRIVM AO DNI 164O

The architectural character of the work is debased Gothic. In
the east wall is a doorway with a low four-centred arch. A window in
this and the opposite wall has a depressed head. The north window has
two uncusped lights under an ordinary arch. This was moved in 1 871, when
the north wall was taken down and the transept extended in a northerly
direction by Mr. R. Jasper More, M.P. The other windows in the new
part are lancets. The roof is a steep-pitched one, and contrasts with that
of the rest of the transept, which has hammer-beam trusses, partly hidden
by a rounded blue ceiling. The roofs of the chancel and nave are also of
the hammer-beam form and all three seem to date from 1845. The wood
which supports the beam at the south end of the transept has probably
been part of a mediaeval roof: it is moulded with sunk quarter-rounds.
The small porch east of the transept is modern.

The parish register dates from 1569 : the earlier part has
suffered from damp and wilful destruction.



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IlLL quite recently this had always been a chapel in the
ancient and extensive parish of Lydbury. Since 1894 it has
had a separate vicar.

The church has been almost entirely rebuilt,
the nave in 1879-80 and the chancel in 1892-3. The tower
is old and a plain erection of the Decorated period. The
upper windows are single trefoiled lights, except the northern
one which has lost its cusps if it ever had any. The lower
windows are rectangular slits with rough shouldered scoinsons.
The tower arch is modern and so is the small shingled broach
spire.

A good deal of old stone is used in the walls of
the nave and chancel, but they were almost entirely rebuilt
at the dates named. All the windows are modem single lights : some
are plain lancets and some are cusped. The three east windows have good
stained glass. The square-headed south doorway is modern, but the door
itself is old and has some simple iron work which may date from the 17th
century or earlier. The part-timbered porch is modem, and also the small
organ chamber north of the chancel. The roofs of the nave and chancel are
of the collar type with white-washed panels. At the entrance to the chancel
is a broad band of roof panelling in the form of a three-centred arch.
Some of the timber of the roof is old, and so apparently is the beam over
the modem oak screen. The windows above the organ chamber are treated
in an original way. The architects for the alterations were Messrs. Curzon
and Leverton of London.

There is some interesting furniture from the old church, the
most remarkable detail being the font. This is a large octagonal erection,
one side of which is ornamented with a circle inside a square, which in turn
includes a large rosette partly made up of trefoils. The octagon becomes a
square lower down, which has simple ornaments at its corners resting on a
round base. The date is evidently the early part of the 14th century.
The font is lined with lead, and has been locked at one time. Parts
of the communion table are Jacobean and there is a chair near of the
same period. Under the tower is an old chest with three old locks and



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423



THE CHURCHES OF SHROPSHIRE.



a modem one. The bier is apparently of the i8th century. On the north
wall of the nave is a heraldic brass to the memory of Mrs. Mary Betton
who died in 1763.

At the south end of the step to the " sacrarium " is an irr^ular
block of stone, about 2 ft. 3 in. by i ft. 4 in. Till the recent rebuilding
this stood about a foot from the ground, and there is a strong village tradition
that it was a "penitent stone," the place where public rebuke and absolution
were given to offenders against church discipline.

There is a very large yew tree south of the church. The
parish register dates from 1560.



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^HIS church has a monastic as well as a parochial history,
being in the I2th century a priory of Augustinian canons.
By 1209 it had become a cell of Wigmore Abbey, there
being a prior and a " few *' canons. Its value at the Dissolution
was only £4, There are no remains of conventual buildings,
but I am told that some old foundations were visible many
years ago north of the church.

I am not at all sure that the mediaeval church
has not disappeared long ago, and that the poor, small
continuous nave and chancel do not date from post-
Reformation times. There is no detail which proves that
the church is earlier. The windows are modern except the
two debased openings in the west wall. The south doorway,
with its round chamfered arch, is not necessarily Norman.

The south and only door is interesting : it bears the inscription,
**Anno Domini 1625 made and given by Humfrey Bigge and Tho. Bright
then churchwardens." The roof may be of the same date : it has four trusses,
two of which are placed close together at the entrance to the chancel. The
old pews are used for wainscoting. It is impossible to date the porch, with
its rough segmental arch, and the wooden bell-turret. The lead of the
latter was repaired or renewed some 20 years ago. Before that date the
chancel walls had been rebuilt In recent times the church has undergone
" restoration."

The communion table is dated 1844 but looks older. There
are two fonts. The smaller one is ornamented with large scolloping and
Tau crosses, and stands in the " vestry " in the north-east corner of the
chancel. The other is a plain octagonal erection at the west end : it was
brought from Hanwood church. The heating apparatus has a peculiar interest,
as it was once used in Windsor Castle ! It is surmounted by a crown.

There are eight yew trees, one being specially fine. Some of
these are not in the churchyard, but it is quite possible that the latter is
smaller than it was at one time. The registers date only from 1700.



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NG the chapels given with the mother church of Clun to
Genlock Priory in the I2th century was that of "Sibbedune."
he place is now called Sibdon or Sibdon Garwood.

The mediaeval chapel has disappeared, and the

•esent building has a very modern appearance. In 1871

le pentagonal apse was built and the chancel arch ; also

le battlement and gargoyles of the tower. The east wall

' the church had an inscribed stone recording the rebuilding

the structure in 174 1. The round-headed windows of

lat date and the gallery and ceiling were removed. The

ain tie-beam roof was well treated, with ornamental braces

ilow and trefoils above the beams. The font, pulpit and

lectem are quite modern : the last named has some good

carving of ivy leaves.

The tower is entered on the west and from the nave by plain
pointed arches. There are round-arched recesses in the north and south
walls. The windows are small lancets. The tower has the debased Gothic
appearance one associates with the early part of the 19th century: I do
not think it can date from 1741.

There are several monuments to the Fleming and ^Baxter
families, but they have no architectural importance. The register begins in
1582, but is not quite perfect



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IHIS church is charmingly situated right against Stow Hill
and high up above the valley of the Teme. It is first
mentioned in 1291, and the plain pointed south doorway
and the buttress at the south end of the west wall may be
mainly as early as that or a little earlier. Still there is no
detail which at all fixes the date of the nave and chancel,
and modern " restoration " accounts for all the windows, the
small octagonal font, and the prim and proper appearance
of everything. There is some excellent modern glass in the
three chancel windows. The communion table is partly
made up of a smaller Elizabethan or Jacobean table.

The internal supports of the bell-turret look
modern, but the turret itself is evidently not a recent
erection. It spreads out a little in the lower, part, and the top part is
pyramidal and covered with slates. There is a south porch of stone and wood.
East of this is a slab against the nave wall with a coat of arms between
the letters "I H " and the date 1581. The floor of the nave slopes downwards
from the west end to the chancel steps.

The roofs of nave and chancel are of some interest. In
the nave there are tie-beam and collar trusses alternately. The former have
seven uprights on the tie-beam, five of which connect with a small collar
above. At the entrance of the chancel, two of these trusses are placed near
together in a manner not uncommon in small Shropshire churches. The
odd thing is the treatment these trusses have received from the "restorer."
Modern boarding is placed between the tie-beams, and below the western
beam are braces, cusped and pierced with tracery. I fancy it was intended
to give the impression that the rood loft still existed, but the attempt is
fortunately not successful, especially as the boarding is at an angle of some
thirty degrees. The roofs appear to me to date from the 17th century, but
much of the detail is modern, including the quatrefoil purlin-braces, which
are a poor copy of some ancient ones in two or three neighbouring churches.
The parish register dates from 1576.



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HIS is an ancient foundation, for the advowson of the living
was given to Shrewsbury Abbey by Roger Fitz-Corbet
about 1095. The oldest part of the present building, how-
ever, dates from nearly a century later : it consists of the
north and west walls and part of the south wall of the
nave. In the north wall is a small Norman window and a
blocked doorway. The latter has a round arch and orna-
mented imposts : of these the eastern is moulded and the
western displays the incipient dog-tooth ornament Most of
the carving is new, but there is enough of the old work to
shew the date very clearly — the Transitional period from
Norman to Early English. The south doorway may be a
little later, for it is pointed and chamfered ; but it is also
Transitional, as is shewn by the plain Norman character of the impost and
hood-moulding. One of the quoins at the north-west corner of the nave is
carved with a demon's head in a way I do not remember to have seen
elsewhere.

With these exceptions all the rest of the stonework is modem,
and dates from 1886, when the church was almost entirely rebuilt of
Norbury limestone, under the direction of Mr. A. Curzon of London. The
new chancel is in memory of the Rogers family, of Home in the parish,
to which there are several memorial tablets. A vestry was added south of
the chancel, a south porch of stone and wood erected, and other alterations
were carried out. The bell-turret at the west end is a good-sized wooden
erection, partly old but considerably repaired ; the internal supports are
old : the ringing place is ingeniously divided from the nave by boarding
and a traceried window.

The chancel is covered by a poor modem tmssed-rafter roof,
but the nave roof is a fine erection and may date as far back as the 15th
century. Three of the tmsses have collars, and braces below : one pair of
the latter is modem. The other truss has a tie-beam as well as a collar
and braces. Between the purlins are fine bold quatrefoils forming purlin-
braces. The boarding is modem throughout



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WENTNOR. 428



The communion table incorporates a table of Elizabethan or
Jacobean date : above is a modern reredos in mosaic. At the entrance of
the chancel are a modem screen and rood. The pulpit is Jacobean. The
old pews are used up in the modern seats and for wainscoting. The font is
modern.

There is a very thriving yew tree of unusual form south-west
of the church. The registers go back to 1662.



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Clun.





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Plate XLIX.



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IHIS place, as its name suggests, is very near the Welsh
.r-m ^B%gA^ boundary. It is in the extreme south-west corner of the
f mShK^ county and stands nearly 1,300 feet above the sea, in other
words at an altitude approaching that of the top of the
Wrekin.

The church contains one feature of great interest,
the rood screen, which, though restored, is still mostly
ancient, and dates from the latter part of the Perpendicular
period (see Plate XLIX.). The arches over the tracery are
round, and have been almost entirely renewed. The necessity
for this may have been caused by the removal of the old
connection, perhaps of a coved nature, between the screen
and the rood loft In addition to the ordinary Perpendicular
tracery there are trefoils and quatrefoils, and two kinds of ornamental
cusps, one of the rosette type and one resembling a fleur-de-lis : there are
also small battlements in the tracery, which is a common feature in screens
of the time of Henry VII. and Henry VIII. The solid horizontal bars
below the tracery on the north side display incised quatrefoils filled with
rosettes : the corresponding ornament on the south side is much simpler.
Between the two bars is a row of bold open quatrefoils. The central
opening is covered by an arch of the four-centred type, highly cusped : the
spandrels are ornamented with leaves, and, on the west side, with Tudor
roses also. Altogether, the screen is an elaborate and interesting piece of
work.

The nave roof is a good example of the type so common in
the neighbourhood (see Plate XLIX.). It has three rows of bold quatrefoils
as purlin-braces : below these is a panelled part of extreme simplicity and
very unlike the rich work at Clun, Clunbury, and Hopesay. All the trusses
are of the collar form except that over the rood screen which has a tie-beam
as well. Over the collar in each case are two bold, open trefoils and a
quatrefoil between them. The bases of the collar-braces are moulded in an
unusual form, not unlike that of some Early English plinths. There is
nothing however which forbids the Perpendicular date so clearly g^ven by



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430 THE CHURCHES OF SHROPSHIRE.



the double ogee moulding on the purlins and by other details. There can be
little doubt that the roof is of the same date as the screen, the latter part
of the 15th or the beginning of the i6th century. The boarding is new.

The chancel roof seems to have been almost entirely renewed.
It is quite simple and has no quatrefoil purlin-braces. The one collar-truss
is old and like those of the nave.

I have dealt first with the screen and roof, for they are much
more important than the stonework. The chancel, which is continuous with
the nave, appears to have been rebuilt from the foundations. The west
wall of the church is also new and the bell-gable, supported by a buttress-
like projection. The south doorway has a plain pointed arch which looks
modem. Over the outer arch of the porch is the inscription " Restored
A.D. i860."

All the windows are modem except the three lancets in the
north wall of the nave, which may be old. The dripstone terminations are
new, but the dripstones themselves look old. If so they are remarkable for
being of the scroll type — a sign of the Decorated period. In a small
country church it is not at all unlikely that the lancet form of window
might survive into the 14th century. The combination of lancet and scroll
is sometimes seen earlier than this, when the Early English style was giving
way to the Decorated. There has apparently been a debased window near
the west end of the south wall.

So far then as the evidence goes, it appears that the nave
dates from the 14th century or the latter part of the 13th, that the roof and
screen were erected some 200 years later, and that the chancel and porch
are modem.

The pulpit is probably late Jacobean. Several of the pews
have painted on them the names of farms in the parish to which they are
assigned. The font is modem but possesses a Jacobean cover. There is a
nice sun-dial in the churchyard The register begins with the year 1662.
The parish possesses a good 17th century chalice.



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[HIS is a chapel of ease to Clun, erected in 1844. It is
eminently in the style of the period, and displays the
common plain lancets, flat buttresses, western bell-gable and
wide queen-post roof. The south porch and corresponding
vestry opposite, the plain chancel arch, the octagonal font
ornamented with quatrefoils are all normal, but the poly-
gonal apse which forms the chancel is worthy of remark as
an unusual feature of the period. The west window is of
two lancets under a four-centred arch. The vestry contains
a good Jacobean chest.

The name of the place suggests the possibility
that the old chapel of St Thomas within the vill of Clun
was here, but there is no proof or tradition that this was



the case.



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ClBtt.

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E church of Clun is not mentioned in Domesday Book, but
there can be little doubt that it was, even before that time,
the centre of a lai^e and important parish. Towards the
end of the I2th century Isabel de Say and William Boterell
conveyed the church to the Priory of Wenlock with all its
chapels which included at least the following : — Clunbury,
Clunton, Edgton, Hopton Castle, Llanvair Waterdine, Sibdon,


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 16 18 19

Online LibraryMartin J. Harding David Herbert Somerset CranageAn architectural account of the churches of Shropshire, Volume 1, Parts 4-5 → online text (page 16 of 19)