603/5/1A CHURCH OF ST MICHAEL AND ALL ANGELS
DATES OF MAIN PHASES, NAME OF ARCHITECT: Parish church of C13 and C16, restored in 1885.
MATERIALS: Ashlar local red sandstone, tile roofs.
PLAN: Nave with north aisle, lower chancel, west tower, south porch.
EXTERIOR: The exterior is mainly in Tudor-Gothic style. The nave has two 2-light and a taller 3-light window, all square-headed with ogee-headed lights. The south doorway has a flat ogee head, inside a pretty porch dated 1894, which is timber-framed on a dwarf stone wall, and has glazed sides, ogee-headed entrance and barge boards richly decorated with foliage. The Perpendicular 3-stage tower has angle buttresses, and a restored quatrefoil band (characteristic of Staffordshire) below the embattled parapet with pinnacles. The west doorway is blocked and part glazed. There is a 3-light west window, clock in the south face of the 2nd stage, and 2-light belfry openings with louvres. The Perpendicular north aisle has four 3-light windows, of which the heads are carved from re-used C13 grave slabs. There is also a blocked doorway with similar detail to the south doorway. The bay at the east end, housing the organ, has been heightened to a second storey under a gable, but a blocked original window with tracery is visible in the east wall. In the chancel the south wall is heavily restored and includes a renewed small round-headed window, 2-light square-headed window and renewed doorway. The 3-light Perpendicular east window is narrow and steeply pointed. There is earlier fabric on the north side, with round-headed and 2-light square-headed windows corresponding with the south side.
INTERIOR: Earlier Gothic is visible inside the church. The 3-bay nave arcade has octagonal piers and stepped round arches characteristic of this part of Staffordshire in the C13-C14, although the pier at the east end is C19 and supports a narrow pointed arch added to accommodate the organ. The tall tower arch has polygonal responds and is probably the same date as the nave, as is the chancel arch with polygonal responds, double-chamfered arch, and one unrestored capital with nailhead decoration. The nave has a 4-bay roof with cambered tie-beams, turned king posts and arched braces. The chancel has a keeled cradle roof. Walls are unplastered. Floors are C19 decorative tiles with parquet floors below benches.
PRINCIPAL FIXTURES: The C19 font has a round bowl with quatrefoils in roundels, and octagonal stem. The polygonal wooden Gothic pulpit has open tracery. Benches have square ends with moulded edges and 2 fielded panels. In the aisle west wall is an C18 Hanoverian Royal Arms. In the base of the tower is an C18 commandment board with figures of Moses and Aaron, possibly once the reredos. There are some notable monuments. In the chancel floor is a grave slab to Reginald Bradoke (d 1441) and his wife Matilda (d 1468) with incised effigies and inscription. In the nave a wall monument to Richard Townsend (d 1729) has a stone tablet and apron, but the achievement is a painted oval board. A white marble neo-classical tablet is to William Collen (d 1784). An unusual scrolled C18 wooden board commemorates William Wakeley (d 1714 aged 125). In the nave is a hatchment of Richard Whitworth (d 1748). The east window shows Ezekiel's Vision (c1885). In the chancel north window and one of the nave south windows are medieval glass fragments showing shields. A nave south window showing Christ resurrected is by H. Hughes (1872).
SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: In the churchyard is the base of a churchyard cross, with modern shaft and head (LBS no 442770).
HISTORY: The church is of C12 origin, evidence for which are the restored C12 chancel windows. In the C13-C14 the church was extended by addition of a north aisle and a west tower. The aisle features round-headed arches that were used elsewhere in the district (e.g. High Offley), although the arcade has also been interpreted as comprising C15 piers and re-use of late C12 arches. The tower was rebuilt in the late C15 or C16, and the building was also re-fenestrated at this time. The church was restored in 1885, from which period are the roofs and alteration to the nave arcade to accommodate an organ. The porch was added in 1894 (date on building).
A brief history of Adbaston church, n.d.
N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Staffordshire, 1974, p 52.
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The church of St Michael and All Angels, Adbaston, is listed Grade II* for the following principal reasons:
* For the extent and quality of its medieval interior detail, including nave arcade, tower and chancel arches.
* It has a good late Perpendicular tower and significant C12-C16 exterior detail.
* It has fixtures of special interest, including C15 monument, and C18 reredos and Royal Arms.