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St Michael, Chirbury, Shropshire

(52°34′45″N, 3°5′31″W)
SO 261 985
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Shropshire
now Shropshire
medieval Hereford
now Hereford
  • Barbara Zeitler
23 August 1999

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Feature Sets

Chirbury is a village in the W of the county, close to the Welsh border and only 3 miles E of Montgomery. The village is a cluster of dwellings around a junction of the A490, and stands on rising ground on the west bank of the Camlad valley. Church and hall are in the centre of the village. The church is a former Augustinian priory; an aisled church, which forms the remainder of a larger building, the transepts and chancel of which have disappeared. The nave is 12thc-13thc, the aisles 13thc. The present chancel dates from the 18thc, the chancel arch from the 19thc. The tower was built c.1300. Some remains of the monastic buildings are situated to the N and E of the church, the largest of which is the lower section of a pier, which may date from the 12thc. This is the only feature described here.


Chirbury was a large domesday manor, held by Edward the Confessor before the Conquest and by Earl Roger of Montgomery in 1086. The Domesday Survey records two churches and a priest. The Augustinian priory that became Chirbury was originally founded at Snead in the upper reaches of the Camlad by Robert de Boullers, lord of Montgomery, towards the end of the 12thc, but had moved to Chirbury some time after 1201. The founder provided the priory with the church of St Michael at Chirbury - a major source of income since its enormous parish included the entire hundred of Witentreu (Wittery), with dependany chapels at Snead, Montgomery, Forden and Hyssington. By 1224 the Boullers line had failed, and the lordship of Montgomery had reverted to the king.


Interior Features

Vaulting/Roof Supports


The remains of the pier are difficult to date. Since a wall is built right behind it, its shape is difficult to establish. Pevsner sugests that it may have belonged to a chapter house, which would indicate a date in the 13thc.


Anon, Welcome to St Michael the Archangel's Church, Chirbury .

D. H. S. Cranage, Churches of Shropshire, 2 vols, Wellington: Hobson & Co., 1901-12, Pt 7, 541-8.

EH, English Heritage Listed Building 257368.

N. Pevsner, Buildings of Shropshire, Harmondsworth 1958, 98-9.

VCH, Victoria County History: Shropshire, II, London 1973, 59-62.