Ellesmere is a small market town in the NW of the county, less than 3 miles S of the border with the Welsh county of Denbigh. The town is immediately W of The Mere - one of the largest glacial meres in the country outside the Lake District. The church stands close to this lake at the E end of the town. It has a 19thc. nave. The N nave arcade incorporates remains of the late 12thc. arcade. Crossing tower 13thc., Perpendicular top. N transept doorway c.1200, decorated with sculpture. 14thc. chancel and S chapel. The church was extensively rebuilt and restored by George Gilbert Scott in 1849, further restoration work being caried out in 1881, 1889 and 1900.
The manor was held by Earl Edwin before the Conquest, and by Roger Montgomery, Earl of Shrewsbury in 1086. It was assessed at 4½ hides and the inhabitants included 60 recorded inhabitants (implying a large settlement of perhaps 300 overall) and two priests (suggesting a church). In fact the church is an Anglo-Saxon foundation. In the 13thc. the patrons were the Knights of St John of Jerusalem.
Pointed, two orders
|Door h.||2.28 m|
|Door w.||1.52 m|
|L capital, h. with necking||0.22 m|
|L capital, h. without necking||0.17 m|
|L capital, max. w., N face||c.0.24 m|
|L capital, max. w., W face||c.0.21 m|
|R capital, h. with necking||0.20 m|
|R capital, h. without necking||0.17 m|
|R capital, max. w., E face||c.0.19 m|
|R capital, max. w., N face||c.0.21 m|
Continuous with a heavy angle roll delineated by a groove.
Engaged nook shafts with no surviving bases, carrying rounded block capitals as follows:
Only the E respond of the N arcade is 12thc. It is an engaged half-column with a plain hollow chamfered bell to the capital, below a tall plain abacus. The impost is hollow chamfered with a deep horizontal grove at lower end of the face.
Anon, The Parish Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Ellesmere, n.d.
D. H. S. Cranage, An Architectural Account of the Churches of Shropshire...: illustrated from photographs by M. J. Harding; with ground plans of the most important churches drawn by W. A. Webb, 2 vols, Wellington: Hobson & Co., 1901-12, vol. II, pt. 9, 749-55.
R. W. Eyton, Antiquities of Shropshire, vol X, 232-50.
J. Newman and N. Pevsner, Buildings of England: Shropshire, New Haven and London, 2006, 262-4.
N. Pevsner, Buildings of England: Shropshire, Harmondsworth 1958, 127-8.