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Church of St Mary

A Grade I Listed Building in Wem Rural, Shropshire

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Latitude: 52.8831 / 52°52'59"N

Longitude: -2.7182 / 2°43'5"W

OS Eastings: 351770

OS Northings: 331975

OS Grid: SJ517319

Mapcode National: GBR 7K.QD7T

Mapcode Global: WH89W.6SWN

Plus Code: 9C4VV7MJ+6P

Entry Name: Church of St Mary

Listing Date: 28 October 1960

Last Amended: 16 September 1987

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1236691

English Heritage Legacy ID: 427772

Location: Wem Rural, Shropshire, SY4

County: Shropshire

Civil Parish: Wem Rural

Traditional County: Shropshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Shropshire

Church of England Parish: Edstaston St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Lichfield

Tagged with: Church building

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SJ 53 SW
6/142 Church of St. Mary
- (Formerly listed as Church of
28.10.60 St Mary the Virgin)

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

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