St Edith, Shocklach, Cheshire
- Site Location
- National Grid Reference
- SJ 432502
(to 1075); Chester (to c.1086); Coventry and Lichfield (to
now: Chester (from 1541)
- St Edith
- Type of building/monument
- Parish church (benefice of Tilston and Shocklach)
II General Description
St Edith's has an aisleless 12thc. nave with a 14thc. chancel, its E window with flowing tracery. There is no tower, but a 12thc. double bellcote on the W gable of the nave. A pair of buttresses on the W wall encloses a vestibule. The N doorway is a later modification; pointed and now half blocked to turn it into a window. On the S side, and unprotected by a porch, is one of the finest Romanesque doorways in Cheshire. A plain N vestry was added to the chancel in 1926, but otherwise the church has received little attention in recent years. Construction is of irregular sandstone blocks with thick mortar courses. A corbel above N doorway is not Romanesque and is illustrated for reference only.
III Exterior Features
(i) S nave doorway
First order. The embrasures have angle rolls without bases. No capitals, but chamfered imposts with a triple reed on the face and a row of heavy beading on the chamfer, badly worn on the W impost. The arch has an angle roll and a double row of centrifugal lateral chevron on the face.
Second order. The embrasures have angle rolls without bases, as first order. No capitals, and both imposts are worn, the E having lost all its decoration, the W with enough surviving to suggest that it was of the same design as the first order imposts. The arch has a cable angle roll. The label is heavy and square in section, carved with lozenges, half on the face and half on the soffit, enclosing worn pyramids or pellets on the angle. Each voussoir carries one or more units of the design. The three central voussoirs are replacements. At each end of the label are stops carved with heads, probably human but very worn now. Immediately above the E label stop the lozenge design has been repaired with mortar.
|h. of opening (ignoring later step)||1.87 m|
|w. of opening||1.24 m|
3. Exterior Decoration
On the W gable of the nave, a double round-headed bellcote topped by a triangular gable of stone. Each arch has a through impost block, on which no carving has survived. The arch and jambs may have been chamfered - a trace of this survives on the E face of the N arch.
Shocklach was held by Robert FitzHugh in 1086, and Drogo held it from him. No church was noted at that time. In the later middle ages the estate was held by the Breretons, landholders in the county since the 12thc., but the date of their acquisition of Shocklach is not clear.
No other examples of this heavy geometrical style of carving survive in the county. A date c.1150 is tentatively suggested.
- N. Pevsner and E. Hubbard, The Buildings of England. Cheshire, Harmondsworth 1971 (repr. 1978), 334.
- R. Richards, Old Cheshire Churches, London 1947, 294-96.