648/9/776 CHURCH OF ST EDMUND, KING AND MARTYR
DATES OF MAIN PHASES, NAME OF ARCHITECT:
C12 church with some rebuilding of 1799; restored 1848 by A.E. Perkins; tower of 1936 by Peacock and Bewlay.
MATERIALS: Rubble lias, freestone dressings including oolitic limestone from Bredon Hill and red sandstone, buff limestone tower, hand-moulded brick to chancel east wall, timber-framed porch, tile roofs.
PLAN: Nave with lower and narrower chancel, north porch and west tower.
EXTERIOR: Nave and chancel are C12 with freestone pilaster strips that divide them into 3 bays each. Pilaster strips have thin moulded bands near the top and have offsets below the eaves suggesting that the walls have been heightened. In the south wall of the nave the blocked doorway is in a projecting freestone surround. Its nook shafts are missing but it has block capitals and round arch. Above it are 2 blind arches on shafts with scallop capitals, and zig-zag decoration to the imposts. The north doorway has a simpler stepped arch, superimposed by blind arches identical to the south side, but obscured by the porch that was added in 1848. The fenestration is identical on north and south walls, with 2-light and 3-light Decorated windows. On the south side is the head of a former round-headed C12 window. On the north side the chancel has 2 restored C12 round-headed windows. A similar south window retains the original head but has been widened. One of the south pilaster strips has been shortened to accommodate a 3-light C19 window. In the brick east wall is a 2-light Decorated window over a shallow buttress. In the west nave wall is a blocked square-headed window partly obscured by the tower. The 3-stage tower has diagonal buttresses, plain parapet with corner pinnacles, and south-east turret. It has a 3-light Decorated west window and triple-cusped bell-stage openings with louvres.
INTERIOR: The simple C12 chancel arch has a stepped arch and plain imposts. Nave and chancel have arched-brace roofs on corbelled wall posts, of 5 and 3 bays respectively. Although they may incorporate medieval work they appear to be mainly of 1848. They incorporate cusped raking struts above the collar beams. Walls are plastered. The floor is red and black tiles, with raised wood floors below pews, and some C17 and C18 grave slabs in the chancel floor.
PRINCIPAL FIXTURES: The C12 tub font has a band of wavy lines around the rim. Pews of 1848 are panelled and have doors. Towards the rear of the nave are 2 C19 panelled benches with poppy heads to the frontal. The polygonal panelled pulpit has Gothic panels. The communion rail of 1639 has turned balusters, but central gates are missing. The reredos, 1922-23 by J. Harold Sayner of Great Missenden, is panelled and has figures of SS Edmund and Wulfstan in niches on tall pedestals. In the chancel is a neo-classical tablet with female mourner leaning on a pedestal, to William Acton (d 1814) by Crake of London, and a hatchment. In the nave is a tablet to Anne Denelly (d 1780). A wooden war-memorial plaque has raised gold lettering and was made by the Bromsgrove Guild c1920. There are some medieval glass fragments in the tracery lights of the south chancel window. The east window is by William Pearce Ltd of Birmingham, showing Christ blessing children and the Wife of Noble Character. It was made in 1906 for Worcester St Helen, but was moved here by A.J. Davies when that church closed in 1953.
HISTORY: Nave and chancel belong to the C12 and retain their plan dimensions although they appear to have been heightened. The chancel east wall was rebuilt in 1799. South door blocked in 1821. Restoration in 1848 by A.E. Perkins (fl 1838-69) of Worcester, included rebuilding the present roofs, installing the present pews and pulpit, and adding the porch. Further restoration of 1914-15 was by Walker & Son of Gloucester. The tower was built in 1936-37 by Peacock & Bewlay, replacing a brick tower that had been built in 1799.
J.S. Billings, Stoulton Church: A Guide, 1970.
A. Brooks and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Worcestershire, 2007, pp 610-11.
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The church of St Edmund, Stoulton, is listed at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:
* For the extent of its surviving C12 work, with architectural detail including doorways, pilaster strips and chancel arch.
* It has fixtures of interest including a C12 font, C17 communion rail, and the pews, which represent a transitional phase between Georgian box pews and benches of the ecclesiological revival.
This List entry has been amended to add sources for War Memorials Online and the War Memorials Register. These sources were not used in the compilation of this List entry but are added here as a guide for further reading, 26 October 2017.