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St Mary, High Offley, Staffordshire

(52°49′58″N, 2°19′24″W)
High Offley
SJ 783 262
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Staffordshire
now Staffordshire
  • G. L. Pearson
  • Ron Baxter

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Feature Sets

High Offley is a scattered village in the W of the county near the Shropshire border. It stands on an elevated site above the Shropshire Union Canal. St Mary's has a nave and chancel of equal width but separately roofed and with no chancel arch between them. The present chancel step is some 2 miles E of the change in roof design. S aisle runs the entire length of nave and chancel, and the E end of it is given over to the organ. There are N and S nave doorways, the S under a porch, and a W tower. The earliest fabric is seen in the N nave wall and the E chancel wall, and consists of roughly shaped sandstone blocks irregular in size and coursing. It probably dates from the early 12thc. The present three-light chancel E window is reticulated (i.e.c.1320) but signs of a plain round-headed 12thc. triplet are visible to either side of it. The plain chamfered N doorway must be ofc.1200, and the squat, three-storey tower is slightly later, with shallow clasping buttresses, a W lancet whose round head is not original, and 13thc. double bell-openings. The parapet has battlements and neo-classical pinnacles, probably 18thc. Like the tower, the five-bay arcade dates from the beginning of the 13thc.; it is round-headed but its capitals are moulded. The E respond capital, however, is a reused 12thc. volute capital carved with heads, and this is the only Romanesque sculpture to be found here. Antiquarian views in the William Salt Library, Stafford, all dating from the first half of the 19thc. show various differences from the church we see today, indicating a later restoration. G. P. Harding's S view of 1821 (SV IV 320) shows a gabled porch, apparently of red brick, whereas J. Buckler's 1843 SE view shows a Tudor porch with a parapet (SV IV 321). Buckler’s NW view of the same year (SV IV 323) shows a two-light pointed W window in the tower, confirming that the present round-headed lancet is a replacement.


Charters for a market and a fair at the manor were granted to Thomas de Halghton by Edward III in 1327.

Benefice of Adbaston, High Offley, Knightley, Norbury and Woodseaves.


Interior Features




Historic England Listed Building, English Heritage Legacy ID: 443705

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Staffordshire. Harmondsworth 1974, 145.

Staffordshire County Council, Staffordshire Views Collection SV IV 320, 321, 323, 325a. Available online at http://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/portal/page?_pageid=47,71124and_dad=portaland_schema=PORTAL