Built of grey coursed rubble, the church consists of a 12thc. nave and chancel, both without aisles, and a 19thc. tower inserted into the W end of the nave. Romanesque sculpture is found in the S and N nave doorways, the latter now blocked, in a window and string course on the E chancel wall, and in the chancel arch; there are also some carved fragments inset into the interior chancel wall. A 19thc. sketch records the appearance of the Romanesque W front, which was moved to the vicarage grounds when the W tower was built.
In 1086, Earl's Croome belonged to the manor of Ripple; one hide was then held by Ordric, a tenant of the Bishop of Worcester. The bishop held the estate in demesne in the early 12thc., and a hide at Croome was given to Adam de Croome by Bishop Samson (1096-1112); Adam's son Simon held the landc.1182. The advowson of the rectory followed the same descent as the manor. The church was a chapel of Ripple.
|h. inc. necking||0.18 m|
|h. without necking||0.145 m|
|max. w., N face||0.17 m|
|max. w., W face||0.19 m|
Plain square jambs.
Detached nook shafts with zigzag reeding on plain round bases; plain neckings, block capitals, the L one carved (see below) and the R with a fillet at the angle; plain chamfered imposts. The R capital and impost may be replacements.
L capital: a plain stem rises up the centre of each face; it has irregularly shaped branches with furled leaf terminals extending to L and R, intertwining at the angle. A tendril from the stem on the S face extends on to the surface of the adjacent wall. The carving is in shallow relief, but on the S face the surface appears to have been ground down and flattened. In the arch, a thick nook roll outlined by a groove on the face, as on the S doorway. The label bears three rows of chevrons (roll, hollow, roll) lateral to the face, centrifugally carved and with a cogwheel edge. May be a copy.
As on the S side of the church, the ground level is now higher than at the time of building.
|h. incl. necking||0.195 m|
|h. without necking||0.155 m|
|max. w., E face||0.2 m|
|max. w., S face||0.19 m|
Plain square jambs.
Detached nook shafts with zigzag reeding on plain bases; the decoration of the R shaft is more regular and deeply cut than that of the L shaft, the zigzags of which meet at a more obtuse angle. Plain neckings, triple scallop capitals with sheathed cones and angle tucks, hollow-chamfered imposts with two grooves on the face. The L capital and shaft at least may be replacements. In the arch, a thick nook roll outlined by a groove on the face. The label bears three rows of chevrons (roll, hollow, roll), frontal to the face. The ground is now 0.87 m above its original level; the original door survives with its ironwork.
Double scallop with angle tuck, eroded at the bottom. The curved edges of the shields are outlined by a fillet; the cones each bear two further fillets forming a V-shape.
The W face is damaged, but the S face is carved in shallow relief with a grooved looped stem with long irregular leaves, one of which entwines back behind the stem to cross a tendril emerging from the W face of the capital.
Similar to L base, but with recessed shields and the V-shaped fillets on the cones emerging from the necking rather than the shields. The surface of the stone to the N of the L capital bears a plain ring-knot in low relief; that of the stone in a corresponding position to the S of the R capital is carved with a triquetra. The imposts, each with a lower angle roll separated from the carved face by a groove, are returned along the soffit of the arch. The face of the L impost bears an undulating stem with furled trefoil leaf terminals and bound by triple clasps. The undulating stem on the face of the R impost has irregular leaf terminals; the W face of the corner stone bears a lion rampant, its head turned back and mouth open with protruding tongue. The relief is shallow, with flattened surface. Fat nook roll in the arch. The label bears three rows of chevrons, lateral to the face and centrifugally carved, with a cogwheel edge.
Carved in shallow relief with irregular interlaced stems.
Detached nook shafts with zigzag reeding, as on the N and S doorways, with plain neckings and carved block capitals (see below). The bases appear to be inverted capitals, complete with neckings (see below).