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St George, Clun, Shropshire

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Feature Sets (3)

Description

The church has a 19thc. chancel; a 12thc. nave with aisles, extensively restored in 19thc., and a W tower. The N nave aisle has a two-storey porch with a timber-framed gable at the W end, protecting a 12thc doorway, and at the E end of the N nave aisle is a 13thc doorway with a pointed arch and dogtooth ornament, and a 12thc head corbel reset above it. The nave arcades are of four bays with single-stepped arches. The westernmost arch in the S arcade is round and plain. Other arches are pointed, with some sculptural decoration. There is a clerestory with round-headed windows in S wall of nave, but no N clerestory. Round-headed window in W wall of nave. Fortified W tower c.1200 with a W doorway of the same date. The building was restored in 1877 by G. E. Street.

History

Clun was held by Picot from Earl Roger in 1086, and by Eadric before the Conquest. It was assessed at 15 hides, 2 of which were held from Picot by Walter. The manor also had a mill. c.1190 Isabella of Say, baroness of Clun Castle, gave St George's, together with St Swithun's, Clunbury, to Much Wenlock Priory (see Clunbury).

Features

Exterior Features

Doorways

N nave doorway

Two orders, round-headed, under later porch, situated at the W end of the N aisle. Some 19thc. restorations.

Dimensions
R capital, h. 0.12 m
R capital, max. w., E face 0.11 m
R capital, max. w., N face 0.12 m
1st order

Plain jambs with slim angle rolls and chamfered, unornamented imposts. Impost on L renewed. The arch has a plain, quadrant profile.

2nd order

Jambs with angle shafts carrying foliate capitals, and chamfered imposts continuous with first order.

L capital: ornament indistinguishable owing to weathering. Plain necking.

R capital: very weathered but traces of foliate ornament. No necking. The arch is plain and there is a plain quirked chamfered label with weathered stops in the form of human heads.

Tower W doorway

Round-headed, three orders. 

1st order

Plain square-section arch and jambs separated by a slim, badly eroded, chamfered impost block

2nd order

As 1st order.

3rd order

As 1st order.  The label is plain and hollow chamfered with heads at the apex and the N terminal as folllows: 

N label stop: human head, very weathered. Apex: human head in very high relief, very weathered. The S label stop is missing, apparently chipped away.

Exterior Decoration

Corbel tables, corbels

Corbel above NE nave doorway

At the apex of the 13thc NE nave aisle doorway is a corbel in the form of a horse's head with a bridle.

Interior Features

Arcades

Nave

N arcade

4 Bays as S arcade, except that bay 1, is round-headed with a square-section E respong and two plain orders in the arch.  All pier capitals are plain multi-scalloped.

S arcade

4 bays, pointed, with cylindrical piers with multi-scallop capitals carrying two-order arches.  1st order plan and square with angle rolls to nave and aisle. 2nd order (facing main vessel) has two rows of frontal face chevrons, the outer row much thinner than the inner. The labels are carved with a plain roll inside a fillet.

The multi-scallop capitals are square and low with plain neckings and hollow-chamfered imposts with a groooved face, heavily restored. The capital of pier 3 is slightly different - see below.

Pier 3 capital

Multi-scallop with a human headin the NW corner, cut in very high relief. This head has an open, crescent-shaped mouth pointing downwards, a flat nose and bulging eyes. A ropelike moustache emanates from the sides of his nose and extends across chin and neck. Short hair, carved in grooves, stylised curls. The N face of this capital is 12thc., the S face a 19thc. restoration.

Above this capital, at lower end of spandrel of the arch, are the remains of a carved, small, crouching dog, its body pointing downwards. The dog's head has been destroyed. Its haunches are damaged, the R foreleg missing. The paws are clearly visible on L. The tail is stretched from underneath the body up the L flank.

Comments/Opinions

Label stops on N doorway are probably 13thc. The N aisle doorway and its relationship to the N aisle are difficult to date. The animal head above the N aisle doorway recalls the head of a bear on the W corbel table at Diddlebury. The weathered human head above the W doorway resembles that above the W doorway at Diddlebury.

Bibliography

  • Anon, Brief Notes on St. George's Church, Clun, n.d.

  • English Heritage, EH Listed BuildingĀ 257178

  • L. Garner, Churches of Shropshire, Shropshire Books, 1994, 54-6.

  • N. Pevsner, Buildings of England: Shropshire, Harmondsworth 1958, 107-8.

Groundplan of St George's by G. E. Street, 1877. Image from Church Plans Online (Published by the NOF Digitise Architecture England Consortium).

Location

Site Location
Clun
National Grid Reference
SO 300 806 
Boundaries
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Shropshire
now: Shropshire
Diocese
medieval: Hereford
now: Hereford
Dedication
now: St George
medieval: St George
Type of building/monument
Parish church  
Report authors
Barbara Zeitler 
Visit Date
31 August 1998