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St Eata, Atcham, Shropshire

(52°40′42″N, 2°40′49″W)
SJ 541 092
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Shropshire
now Shropshire
medieval St Eata
now St Eata
  • Barbara Zeitler
23 June 1999

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Feature Sets

Atcham is a village at the crossing of the River Severn, 3 miles SE of Shrewsbury. The church is alongside the river and consists of an aisleless nave and chancel and a W tower. There is with late Saxon or early Norman masonry in the N nave and chancel walls. There is a small, plain, round headed window in the N wall of the nave. The lower stages of the tower are late 12thc. and the top stage is 15thc. The early W doorway of the tower is the only feature with Romanesque sculpture.


The church was dedicated to the Anglo-Saxon saint St Eata the Confessor, who was abbot of Melrose in 661, becoming abbot of Lindisfarne in 664 (Eyton 1859, 244). This is the only church in the country dedicated to St Eata. The village was the birthplace of the historian Orderic Vitalis, who was baptised here in 1075.

The manor was held by Godebold from the church of St Alkmund, Shrewsbury in 1086. It was assessed at 1 hide.


Exterior Features



Pevsner considers the W doorway very ambitious" but notes that it is much renewed, considering the capitals and shafts not to be original. He may be right about the capitals, but the shafts and most of their bases do indeed seem to be original, although there has been some modification of the design around the impost level. It has much in common with the change from stepped to flat embrasures seen towards the end of the 12thc in the Ile-de-France, e.g. at Sens.


J. C. Anderson, Shropshire: Its Early History and Antiquities. 1864, 164-5.

R. W. Eyton, Antiquities of Shropshire, 8, London: J. R. Smith, 1859, 239-46.

Historic England Listed Building 259242

J. Newman and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Shropshire. Yale University Press: New Haven and London, 2006, 124-126

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Shropshire. London 1958, 66.