The village of Wales is eight miles ESE of Sheffield. Of the medieval church only the early 12thc two-bay nave and chancel, and a Perpendicular 15thc W tower survive (Harman and Pevsner 2017). The village was transformed by coal mining in the late 19thc and a necessary extension to the church was added in 1897. The large nave and S aisle were added on the S side, so that the small old building was reduced to the status of a N aisle. At the same time, the Norman S doorway was re-set on the S side of the new aisle.
This was originally a chapel-of-ease in the large parish of Laughton-en-le-Morthen. The place-name refers to a settlement of British people, perhaps serfs, and is recorded in 1002-4.
|Height of opening into upcurve of tympanum||2.01m|
|Height of R capital||0.23m|
|Width of opening||1.175m|
First order is plain and square in the jambs. The tympanum is decorated with a chequer pattern of sunk and raised squares; these are enclosed by an arched band of lozenges, or two rows of point-to-point zigzag, all in one stone.
Second order (all forms very worn and rounded): upright rounded base and ring; shaft in sections, not coursed; single-scallop capital with necking; deep and heavy impost. The arch above is decorated with crude beakhead, which is damaged and worn on the left, but voussoirs to the right may be restored. The motifs are flat and have alternately beaked and rounded faces, and all have incised circular eyes. They lie over an angle roll.
Label, much worn, is perhaps of double-chamfered profile. A head, top centre, is probably a reset corbel placed there by the Victorians. It is perhaps a human head but the front and top are broken off (and has been seen with a bird's nest on top).
|Height of font drum||0.465m|
Borthwick Institute faculty papers Fac.1896/5.
R. Harman and N. Pevsner, Yorkshire, the West Riding, Sheffield and the South. London 2017, 719.
P. F. Ryder, Saxon Churches of South Yorkshire, South Yorkshire County Council, 1982.
A. H. Smith, The Place-Names of the West Riding of Yorkshire, I. Cambridge University Press, 1961, 155-6.