Lych Gate to the east of the Church of St John the Evangelist


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
Church Road, Newcastle, SY7 8QL


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Statutory Address:
Church Road, Newcastle, SY7 8QL

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

Shropshire (Unitary Authority)
Newcastle on Clun
National Grid Reference:


Lych gate to the east of the Church of St John the Evangelist, 1880.

Reasons for Designation

The lych gate to the Church of St John the Evangelist, 1880, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* forming a picturesque entrance to the churchyard, the lych gate is good-quality design drawing on the Arts and Crafts emphases on vernacular building traditions, materials and craftsmanship; * a carefully-composed structure in the manner of historic predecessors and incorporating the unusual feature of a revolving gate.

Group value:

* with the listed mid-C19 church and chest tomb.


Lych gates, often forming a picturesque entrance to a churchyard, initially had a practical and ritualistic purpose. Medieval lych gates were used as a meeting point and shelter for burial parties bringing bodies for interment. The group would convene beneath the lych gate, to be met by the priest prior to entering the consecrated churchyard and beginning funerary rituals. Some lych gates had a slab to hold the coffin, and they often had benches. Their name derives from the Anglo-Saxon or German word for corpse: lich, or leiche.

The parish church of St John the Evangelist (Grade II) dates from 1848, and was designed by Edward Haycock of Shrewsbury. The lych gate was a later installation, and has the dated inscription, '1880'. There are plans in the Shropshire Archive for the lych gate referenced as dating from around 1849; this date is understood to be anomalous: the plan itself is not dated, nor is there an architect’s or draughtsman’s signature.

The lych gate contains a revolving, turnstile-type gate. Such features are relatively unusual in the national context. A handful are known of across the southern and south-western counties.


Lych gate to the east of the Church of St John the Evangelist, 1880.

MATERIALS: a combination of roughly-hewn coursed limestone and timber framing, with slate roofs and wrought iron details.

PLAN: the structure is located at the eastern extremity of the churchyard. It is rectangular on plan, providing pedestrian access from east to west.

DESCRIPTION: the outer elevation of the lych gate faces east. It is a symmetrical composition with a timber-framed entrance passage, flanked by masonry outshuts. Wide timber posts rise from a low stone plinth, and have decorative brackets at the angles with the beams, with trefoil piercings. In the crossbeam is the relief inscription ‘1880’ in a stylised font. The roof is half hipped with sprocketted eaves, and the gablets are clad in timber, again with the trefoil motif. A metal cross with decorative scrollwork rises from the ridge. The west elevation, facing the churchyard, is the same, but with ledge and plank doors into the former bier house and tool shed, within the outshuts.


Books and journals
Vallance, Aymer, Old Crosses and Lychgates, (1920), 164-165
Plan of lych gate for Newcastle church, c1849, ref 552/15/59, Shropshire Archives, Shrewsbury


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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