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Listed Building
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Ordnance survey map of CHURCH OF ST MARY
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Shropshire (Unitary Authority)
Wem Rural
National Grid Reference:
SJ 51770 31975


WEM RURAL C.P. EDSTASTON SJ 53 SW 6/142 Church of St. Mary - (Formerly listed as Church of 28.10.60 St Mary the Virgin) GV I

Chapel of ease, now parish church. Late C12, east wall largely rebuilt c.1300, west end truncated and rebuilt c.1723 and whole restored 1882-3 by G. H. Birch. Regularly coursed and dressed yellow and red sandstone blocks to nave with sandstone ashlar to east wall, west wall and C19 porch and vestry; plain tile roof with coped verges. Nave and chancel in one (although chancel is probably a little earlier); Cl9 west bellcote, south porch and north-east vestry. Both nave and chancel retain original trefoil-arched corbel table and moulded string course at cill level of original windows with chamfered plinth to chancel. Nave: south side: two C15 windows, eastern with panel tracery, western with hoodmould and grotesque head-stops; gabled porch to west erected in memory of George Honyman, Baron of Sutherland (died 1875) has stone dated "1710" with names of "Gentleman wardens" inscribed on west side, reused from an earlier porch. C12 south doorway has 4 orders of shafts and leaf capitals, 2 embellished with carvings of human head and mythical beast; the arches have chevron and crenellated decoration, hoodmould carved with dogtooth decoration has head-stops and carved head to apex. Restored quatrefoil niche above. The oak door is probably also original with elaborate contemporary ironwork. North side: 4 large buttresses, 2 to west early C19 and easternmost incorporating footings of a medieval buttress; second buttress from east stepped and larger than others probably C17; one C15 window with panel tracery and grotesque head- stops between second and third buttresses from east and a C12 window with crocket capitals and chevron decoration to arch, between first and second buttresses from east. C12 doorway between western buttresses has one order of shafts with elaborate carved capitals and a zig-zag decoration enclosing a round; outer arch has elaborate foliage decoration with intertwined animal and human figures, supported on tiny carved corbelled responds; hoodmould with a type of leaf motif and a carved head to apex. Door is probably original and has contemporary crescent- shaped ironwork. West wall: rebuilt c.1723 to east of original west end; 3-light Decorated style C19 window and gabled bellcote with twin cusped openings. Chancel: south side: C15 window with panel tracery to west and 3-light C14 window to east. Priest's doorway set in chamfered projection to west has inturned upward leaves to capitals, ringed nook- shafts, chevron decoration to outer arch and dogtooth carving to inner arch; C19 door reuses some C12 ironwork. Blind rectangular opening above. C12 pilaster buttress cut by C15 window. North side: divided into 2 bays by original pilaster buttress, east bay with C12 window having narrow round-headed inner arch and one order of nook-shafts with crocket capitals, west bay with C15 window having panel tracery and grotesque head-stops. C19 flat-roofed vestry at east corner has tall chimney in angle with chancel with octagonal shaft and miniature lucarne-like louvres to cardinal points. East wall: rebuilt above C12 string course c.1300 has contemporary angle buttresses and a short chamfered buttress beneath window. This is of 5 intersecting lights with cusped heads to lower arches and cusped sexfoil to apex; hollowed hoodmould. Interior: moulded string course remains at cill level of single-splay C12 windows to both nave and chancel and also at the level of the springing of the window arches to nave. Considerably restored wide round-headed recess to north wall of nave houses piscina. King- post roof to nave of c.1718-23 in 4 bays has 2 tiers of curved windbraces and date 1723 carved on western tie beam; similar roof to chancel restored and panelling inserted probably 1882-3. Considerable traces of medieval and post-medieval murals of several different dates on nave and chancel north and south walls; sham painted ashlar masonry and consecration crosses to sedile beneath C14 window in chancel and on wall to east of nave south-east window: other subjects include C13 Adoration of the Magi (north wall of nave), C15 St.Christopher (above north doorway) and St. John the Baptist (above south doorway). Restored C14 aumbry and piscina, in east wall of chancel. Simple Jacobean pulpit and C17 oak chest in vestry; possibly C12 font bowl at north-west corner of church. Other fittings and furnishings, including present font, late C19 or later. Fragments of C15 stained glass (including part of a bearded figure) in top part of nave south-west window; south-east window (1844) commemorates Admiral George Bowen; other windows late C19. Monuments: plain C18 and C19 wall tablets to members of local families in both nave and chancel; royal coat-of-arms, George III (1806), over nave west window. A chantry was established here in late C15, probably by Richard III. Edstaston, originally a dependent chapelry of Wem, became a separate parish in 1850. One of the most complete Romanesque buildings in Shropshire. B.O.E. p.126; D. H. S. Cranage, The Churches of Shropshire, Part 8 (1906) pp.682-5.

Listing NGR: SJ5177031973


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

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Books and journals
Cranage, DHS , The Churches of Shrewsbury, (1894-1908), 682-5
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: Shropshire, (1958), 126


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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Date: 28 Jul 2002
Reference: IOE01/08308/07
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Michael Nicolle. Source Historic England Archive
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