ASTON EYRE PARISH CHURCH
(Formerly listed as:
PARISH CHURCH (DEDICATION UNKNOWN))
A late C12 church with later medieval windows. Restoration and addition of bellcote and porch in the C19.
MATERIALS: Red and grey local sandstone rubble with freestone quoins and dressings. Clay tile roof, with plain ridge tiles.
PLAN: Nave with lower and narrower chancel, south porch and west bellcote.
EXTERIOR: A small church retaining its Norman proportions, the principal feature of which is the reconstructed south doorway of the late C12. It has a single order of shafts with waterleaf capitals, possibly added when the tympanum was reconstructed. The round arch frames a tympanum in high relief depicting Christ's entry into Jerusalem. Christ sits on a donkey, but turned face-on with hand raised in blessing. To his right a man strews palms in his path, and behind Christ on the left side is a man with an ass. The door has long strap hinges terminating in fleur-de-lys, and one is dated 1636. The nave has 2 restored round-headed windows to the right of the porch, and another on the left that was added in 1896 (date on plaque inside church). The porch replaces a timber-framed structure noted in 1855. Its entrance is a wide arched-brace truss. In the nave north wall are 2 restored round-headed windows and in the west wall is a pointed window. The chancel has low shallow angle buttresses in the east wall, which was rebuilt in the mid C19 and has triple round-headed lights under linked hood moulds. In the north wall is a pair of pointed lights, and in the south wall a similar 2-light window, and pointed doorway with chamfer. The simple gabled west bellcote has 2 bells in tall pointed openings.
INTERIOR: The nave has a 4-bay queen-post roof on heavy cambered tie beams. The chancel arch is Transitional, with pointed arch on moulded impost band. It has two orders of roll moulding, of which the outer is enclosed by notional chevrons. The east window has C19 rere-arches on round columns with carved block capitals, and linked hoods. The chancel has a 2-bay roof of 2 collar-beam trusses. Walls are plastered, except for the panelled dado in the chancel, which has geometric patterns with foliage in the east wall, including panels with Alpha, Omega and 6-pointed star behind the altar. In the north and south walls are foliage trails above the dado that may have come from the late medieval screen. Floors are laid with red and black tiles, one stamped `J Onions, Broseley, 1834'.
PRINCIPAL FIXTURES: The C19 font has a round pedestal on square base, and shallow bowl. The square panelled C17 pulpit has 2 caryatids, and the reading desk is similar but much simpler. Pews of the late C18 or early C19 have reed-moulded borders to plain panels. There are 2 pews on the SW side that are plainer and were installed in 1896. Choir stalls have panelled fronts. The wooden communion rail has open Gothic arcading. In the east window is C19 glass showing the crucifixion flanked by Mary and John.
HISTORY: Aston Eyre church was founded in 1132 as a chapel of Morville, but the earliest surviving architectural details date from the late C12. The church was described in 1855 as recently rebuilt, work that included the addition of the bellcote and insertion of the neo-Norman east window. The church stands next to an unfortified C14 stone manor house. It has no known dedication.
Cox, D C, Sir Stephen Glynne's Church Notes for Shropshire (1997) 8.
Mercer, E, English Architecture to 1900: The Shropshire Experience (2003) 34.
Newman, J and Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: Shropshire (2006) 122.
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION
The Parish Church of Aston Eyre, is listed Grade II* for the following principal reasons:
* It retains important Norman architectural details, including the tympanum over the south door, and the chancel arch.
* It has good interior detail including roofs, pulpit and chancel panelling.