Statfold Chapel, Staffordshire
- Site Location
- National Grid Reference
- SK 238 072
Lichfield to 1075
; Chester toc.1086
; Coventry and Lichfield to 1541.
now (or name of monument): St Matthew; All Saintsnot confirmed
- Type of building/monument
- Chapel, formerly Parish church
II General Description
Statfold is in the extreme SE of the county, 3 miles NE of Tamworth. Statfold chapel stands in the grounds of Statfold Hall, to the N of the hall itself, and is not marked on the OS Landranger map. The present hall is a brick building of 1571 and later. The hall, the chapel, Statfold Farm and a few scattered houses are all that remain of Statfold, although the topography of a field immediately to the N of the chapel suggests that the village was here. It is likely to have been deserted in the early Tudor period following enclosure by the landlord. The chapel serves as a mortuary chapel for the Wolferstan family. It was restored and refitted for use as a parish church in 1906, although the parish has never been populous enough to support its own minister. It is now attached to the benefice of Clifton Campville. The chapel is a single-cell gabled box with steps to an altar at the E. The 12thc. W doorway is the oldest part of the fabric, while the priest's doorway dates from the 13thc. A good deal of work was carried out in the first half of the 14thc; the chancel windows and the sedilia and piscina being of that period. It contains two wall tombs with female effigies; both of the later 14thc. Drawings by Buckler show the exterior (1838) and the interior (1848) (William Salt Library SV X 8, SV X 9a) looking much as they do today structurally, but with the roof covered in ivy. A small steeple at the W end was pulled down as unsafec.1680. Construction is of sandstone quarried nearby. The stonework is of regular ashlar blocks except at the W end, where it is rubbly and irregular. The western gable has been rebuilt incorporating a millstone as a decorative feature. This appears in Buckler's engraving. The only 12thc. features are the W doorway and the font. The author is grateful to Mr Francis Wolferstan for allowing access to the chapel.
III Exterior Features
(i) W doorway
|h. of opening||2.48 m|
|w. of opening||1.25 m|
At the W end, N of the W doorway, stands a font with a shallow cylindrical bowl with a scalloped lower rim and a chamfered upper rim. The top surface of the upper rim carries the inscription, NASCENTES MORIMUR FINIS QUE AB ORIGINE PENDET (Being born, we die; our end is consequent on our beginning) from the 1st-century Latin poet Manilius. This depressing commentary on the sacrament of baptism is certainly not a 12thc. inscription. The unlined bowl stands on a tapered octagonal stem, hollow chamfered in its lower part, and this on an octagonal base with chamfer stops and a badly damaged octagonal step.
|overall h. of font||0.91 m|
|h. of bowl||0.19 m|
|ext. diam. of bowl||0.675 m|
|int. diam. of bowl||0.53 m|
Statfold is not mentioned in the Domesday Survey. The hall is still in the possession of the Wolferstan family, who succeeded to it through the marriage of Humphrey Wolferstan to Katherine, the Stanley heiress in 1565.
The Chapel (formerly parish church) in the benefice of Clifton Campville with Edingale and Harlaston.
The upper bowl of the font is probably late 12thc., as is the W doorway. The font bowl is in a harder stone than the stem, harder in fact than any stone found in the fabric of the building, and this, along with the inscription, casts some doubt on the 12thc. origin of the bowl. The scalloped and chamfered rims are certainly 12thc. forms, however, and it is here assumed that an inscription was added to the 12thc. bowl, probably in the 17thc. The stem is 14thc. Pevsner does not commit himself to a date for the bowl.
- H. Baylis, 'The prebends in the cathedral church of St Mary and St Chad in Lichfield', Transactions of the Staffordshire Archaeological and Historical Society, 2 (1960-61).
- D. M. V. Research Group, 'Deserted medieval villages of Staffordshire and adjacent areas', Transactions of the Staffordshire Archaeological and Historical Society, 8 (1966-67).
- N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Staffordshire. Harmondsworth 1974, 251-52.
- Staffordshire County Council, Staffordshire Views Collection, William Salt Library SV X 8, SV X 9a. Available online at http://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/portal/page?_pageid=47,71124and_dad=portaland_schema=PORTAL