St Andrew, Wroxeter, Shropshire

Feature Sets (3)

Description

Wroxeter is a village 5 niles SE of Shrewsbury on the River Severn, best known for the Roman city on the N side of the modern village. The church is in the centre of the village, on the E bank of the river. It consists of a chancel that is Anglo-Saxon in orgin (see N wall) but largely late-12thc, with an 18thc S vestry, a 12thc unaisled nave, wider on the S side than the N, a 19thc S porch and a W tower.  According to Pevsner (1958) there was a S nave arcade that was removed. The aisle must date to c.1300 (see S nave windows), and the aisle removed and the S wall rebuilt in 1763. The font is of interest, being formed of the base of a Roman column, and a photograph is included. The church was closed on 1980, and came under the care of the Churches Conservation Trust in 1987.

Romanesque features recorded here are the S chancel doorway, now blocked; the chancel arch; the tower arch, and two animal reliefs in the exterior S nave wall.

History

Wroxeter was held  by Thorth in 1066 and by Sheriff Reginald in 1086. It was assessed at 1 hide. The church is mentioned in the Domesday Survey as being part of a collegiate establishment with four priests. In 1347, the church was given to Haughmond Abbey.

Features

Exterior Features

Doorways

S chancel doorway

Single order, round headed and blocked. What remains is the E jamb capital and impost and three-quarters of the arch. To the W the other jamb abd arch segment have been overbuilt by the 18thc vestry, and the opening below capital level has been blocked flush with the chancel wall. It is possible that the upper part of the opening was once used as a window.

The capital is a tall volute with faceted bell and small crockets in the centre of each face. This carries a hollow chamfered impost with adeep groove in the face, much worn, and an arch with a keeled angle roll flanked by rows of frontal chevron on face and soffit, and point-to-point lateral chevron on face and soffit outside it. The label is chamfered to the extrados, and on its inner face, or soffit, is a roww of tangential trumpet-shaped flowers. The label stop appears to be a spiral terminal decorated with a row of rounded indentations.

Interior of door

Plain voussoirs. Label decorated with two rows of fleshy dogtooth ornament separated by band running lengthwise across arch. In the central section of the label, the band thickens to form flat, elongated lozenges. 

Exterior Decoration

String courses

S chancel stringcourse

The spiral label stop on the E side of the doorway continues as a stringcourse that runs horizontally, then turns upward for 2 courses and turns horizontal again, running E until it reaches the later (c.1300) S chancel window.  Like the label stop it is decorated with a series of square indentations, but the wear pattern makes the decoration irregular. 

Miscellaneous

Relief 1

One small relief of animal immured at the top of the S nave wall. Dog or similar animal shown in profile, facing to L. Elongated, pointed head, quite small in relation to body. Shaggy fur. Short tail, curling upwards. four legs clearly visible, forelegs somewhat damaged. 

Relief 2

One small relief of dog or similar animal shown in profile, facing to R. Very similar to (i). Part of left foreleg missing. Tail less prominent than in first relief. 

Interior Features

Arches

Chancel arch/Apse arches

Chancel arch

Pointed. Two orders on E and W faces.  Red local sandstone. 

1; First order

Arch surface chamfered. Hollow chamfer imposts, one row of roll-moulding on upright followed by deep horizontal groove and straight section.
L capitals triple trumpet capital. Roundels of trumpet capitals decorated with scalloped leaves. Horizontal arris on necking. Central colonnette decorated with fillet. Water-holding bases.
R capitals: triple capital with fleshy foliage. Ball-shaped leaves as volutes. Horizontal arris on necking. Central colonnette decorated with fillet. Water-holding bases.

2; Second order, W face

Roll-moulding in the arch. Impost continuous with first order.
L capital: foliate. Horizontal arris on necking. Water-holding base.
R capital: strapwork terminating in two fleur-de-lys on W and S faces. Water-holding base.
Label: keel-moulding

3; Second order, E face

Keel-moulding in the arch. Imposts continuous with first order.
L capital: stiff leaf capital with three ball-shaped volutes. Plain necking, fillet on colonnette. Water-holding base.
R capital: fleshy foliage, ball-shaped leaves as volutes.Water-holding base.
Label: keel-moulding.

Tower/Transept arches

Tower arch

Pointed. Two orders. Limestone.

1; First order

Arch surface chamfered. Plain imposts.
L capital: three-sided decorated with fleshy scalloped leaves with ribbed surfaces. W face damaged.
R capital: tendril ornament. W face damaged.

2; Second order, E face

arch surface chamfered.
L capital: damaged
R capital: damaged.
Label: roll-moulding with fillet.

3; Second order, W face

Roll-moulding in the arch.
L: capital: [not accessible]
R capital: horizontal hollow chamfer, plain necking.

Comments/Opinions

The series of interlocking flowers on the label of the priest's doorway resemble those on the label of the processional doorway at Haughmond Abbey. The two animal reliefs on the S wall of the nave appear to be of a 12thc. date. 13thc. relief sculptures, apparently from Haughmond Abbey are reset on the exterior of the tower

Bibliography

  • C. Moffett, `Archaeological Investigations at the Anglo-Saxon Church of St Andrew, Wroxeter', Transactions of the Shropshire Archaeological and Historical Society LXVI (1989), 1-14.

  • C. Moffett et al, St. Andrew's Church, Wroxeter, Shropshire, booklet, Churches Conservation Trust, London, 1998.

  • N.¬†Pevsner, 1958, 327-28.¬†

Location

Site Location
Wroxeter
National Grid Reference
SJ 573 083 
Boundaries
now: Shropshire
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Shropshire
Diocese
medieval: Lichfield (to 1075); Chester (to c.1086); Coventry and Lichfield (to 1541)
now: Lichfield
Dedication
now: St Andrew
medieval: St Andrew (pre-Reformation)
Type of building/monument
Redundant parish church  
Report authors
Barbara Zeitler, Ron Baxter 
Visit Date
03 Jan 1999 (BZ), 11 May 2017 (RB)