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St Mary the Virgin, Nuneaton, Warwickshire

(52°31′32″N, 1°28′41″W)
SP 355 921
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Warwickshire
now Warwickshire
  • Harry Bodenham

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Feature Sets

The church consists of a nave, chancel and N transept. The church includes the remains of a Benedictine nunnery church. The four large crossing piers, partly ruined, were incorporated into the new building when the nave was rebuilt in 1876 by Clapton Rolfe in the Romanesque style. The chancel and N transept were rebuilt by Harold Brakspear in 1906 and 1930.

The plan of the original 12thc. church was cruciform with a central tower. Early in the 13thc. the tower fell, and it appears that the SE and NE piers were rebuilt soon afterwards as they are fully Early English (Pevsner). The NW and SW piers are late 12thc., and the presence of two original capitals on the SW pier has been noted (Pevsner). However, the only item with elements of Romanesque carving is a loose capital.


The parish church of Nuneaton was given by Earl Robert of Leicester to the Norman Abbey of Lyre during Henry I's reign, the gift being confirmed by Henry II in 1155.


Loose Sculpture


Although the foliage motif, chevron and rope moulding are Romanesque features, anomalies such as the length of the capital and the integral shaft section suggest that the capital is in fact 13thc. but retrospective in terms of its decoration.

Pevsner, 364-365
VCH, 4:170-172