St John the Baptist, Albrighton (near Shrewsbury), Shropshire

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Feature Sets (2)


Albrighton is a small village consisting of a few dwellings with the church and hall, 4 miles N of Shrewsbury on the Ellesmere road. It was formerly a chapelry in the parish of St Mary, Shrewsbury but became a parish in 1866. The church consists of a chancel with a polygonal apse and a nave with a bellcote, all in red sandstone in a Norman style. Construction is by John Carline of Shrewsbury (1840-41), who built the nave, and the chancel was added under the direction of the squire, W. M. Sparrow, between 1867 and 1881. In 1906 a vestry and organ chamber were added in a Gothic style. The only Romanesque feature is the font.


Albrighton was held by a free man named geri in 1066, and by Ealhhere from Warin in 1086. Warin was the predecessor of Reginald the Sheriff, who held most of his land from Roger, Earl of Shrewsbury. Albrighton was assessed at 3 hides. Following the account of Leach (1891), it was given to the monks of Shrewsbury Abbey before the Conquest and remained in their hands until the Dissolution.





Chalice-shaped. Limestone. Base modern.

Plain rim followed by 10 elongated triangles pointing downwards.  The triangles are decorated with 3 rows of square beads. The inner row is arranged vertically, the 2 outer rows slant inwards and meet just above the apex of the triangle. The chamfered surface of the lower end of the font is decorated with 10 shapes resembling horseshoes. The ends of each of the horseshoes point downwards. 

Height of bowl 0.65 m
External diameter of bowl at rim 0.65 m
Interior diameter of bowl at rim 0.51 m
Circumference at bottom of bowl 1.28 m
Circumference at rim 2.13 m


Pevsner (1958) calls the font Norman, while the List Description has 'probably C12'. Eyton (1891) confirms that the Norman font was in the church in 1891. No obvious parallels for the unusual decoration have yet been identified, although the blind arcading below a band of chevron of the font at St Giles, Shrewsbury might be relevant.


  • D. H. S. Cranage, An Architectural Account of the Churches of Shropshire, 10 vols, 1894-1912, vol. 9, 742-43.

  • Historic England Listed BuildingĀ 259119

  • F. Leach (ed.) The County Seats of Shropshire: a series of descriptive sketches, Shrewsbury 1891, 147-51.

  • N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Shropshire, Harmondsworth 1958, 56.


Site Location
Albrighton (near Shrewsbury)
National Grid Reference
SJ 497 180 
now: Shropshire
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Shropshire
now: Lichfield
medieval: Lichfield (to 1075); Chester (to c.1086); Coventry and Lichfield (to 1541)
medieval: St John the Baptist (pre-Reformation)
now: St John the Baptist
Type of building/monument
Parish church, formerly chapel  
Report authors
Barbara Zeitler 
Visit Date
02 January 1999