All Saints, Madeley, Staffordshire

Feature Sets (2)

Description

Madeley is in NW Staffordshire, just over a mile from the Shropshire border and four miles E of Newcastle-under-Lyme. The parish was formerly an extensive one, occupying the fertile, hilly ground as far W as the county boundary. It consisted of the three villages of Great, Middle and Little Madeley and Onneley, to the W. All of these lie along the A525 road from Whitchurch to Newcastle. Madeley was apparently always the largest settlement. The church is alongside the main road, with the Old Hall (now a 17thc. building) immediately to the N. Old Madeley manor is a mile to the S, but ruinous, and the new manor is in Little Madeley to the NE. Red and blue clay is still extracted for brick manufacture, and coal was formerly mined at Leycett colliery (closed 1957) and Silverdale (closed 1998). All Saints is a red sandstone church with a nave with aisles, a S porch and transepts, a chancel with a N chapel and a W tower. The oldest part of the church is the 12thc. N arcade. The S arcade and clerestorey are ofc.1300, and both aisles have been widened; the N in the 14thc. and the S in the 15thc., to judge from the windows. The nave aisles are of four bays and extend partway alongside the tower to the W. The S porch is 15thc. Its original entrance has been blocked, and the modern entrance to the church is through a doorway cut into the E wall of the porch, allowing the insertion of lavatories at the S end. The N transept was added in the 14thc., and a lancet at the W end of the N arcade wall (originally the outer wall) indicates that there was no transept here before that. The S transept is 15thc., as is the N chancel chapel (now a vestry). The chancel itself was completely rebuilt in 1872 as part of a restoration by Charles Lynam of Stoke-on-Trent. Views of the church before this restoration are in the William Salt library. The tower is 15thc. with a 19thc. battlemented parapet with finials. Romanesque sculpture is found in the N nave arcade.

History

Robert of Stafford held one hide in Madeley in 1086, and Wulfgeat from him. Before the Conquest it was held by Swein. The holding also included woodland 1½ leagues long and a league broad. Deer parks at Heighley (to the N) and Madeley are mentioned in the 13thc. In 1272 Nicholas de Stafford was Lord of the Manor of Madeley. In 1293, ironmaking was recorded here using local ore and wood and charcoal from Madeley Great Park. Charters for a Tuesday market and annual fairs on St George's day and St Leonard's day were granted to Ralph de Stafford by Edward III in 1341. The manor remained in the Stafford family (later Dukes of Buckingham) until the fall of Buckingham in 1484.

Benefice of Betley and Madeley.

Features

Interior Features

Arcades

Nave

N arcade

Four bays, pointed. The arcade is carried on octagonal piers with a semi-octagonal respond at the E end and the arch dying into the wall at the W. The capitals are all plain multi-scallops with roll neckings. The E respond capital is odd in having three scallops per face (the others have four) and in having an impost cut from the same block as the capital. Imposts are quirked hollow chamfered. The arches are later, c.1300, with two chamfered orders to either face. There are double chamfered labels on the S face only, with round boss label stops above the three piers as follows:

Pier 1: naturalistic foliage (possibly oak leaves)c.1300.

Pier 2: spiral carved with recessed centre, 12thc.

Pier 3: as pier 2 but the spirals are decorated with reeding. 12thc.

Comments/Opinions

The arcade probably dates fromc.1160-70 as suggested by the octagonal pier and despite the simplicity of the scallop forms. Pevsner notes that octagonal multi-scalloped capitals are a rarity in Staffordshire arcades; the present author has found no other examples.

Bibliography

  • Anon., All Saints' Madeley. A Short Guide. Church guide May 2004.
  • Staffordshire County Council, Staffordshire Views Collection nos SV -VII.51a, 52a and 57a.
  • N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Staffordshire. Harmondsworth 1974, 200.

Location

Site Location
Madeley
National Grid Reference
SJ 773 444 
Boundaries
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Staffordshire
now: Staffordshire
Diocese
medieval: Lichfield (to 1075); Chester (to c.1086); Coventry and Lichfield (to 1541)
now: Lichfield
Dedication
now: All Saints
medieval: St Leonard (1341 (unconfirmed))
Type of building/monument
Parish church  
Report authors
Ron Baxter