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St Giles, Shrewsbury, Shropshire

(52°42′7″N, 2°43′50″W)
SJ 50729 11845
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Shropshire
now Shropshire
medieval Hereford
now Hereford
  • Barbara Zeitler
26 Sept 1998

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This church probably served a leper hospital and thus has a suburban location at the edge of Abbey Foregate. The S wall of the church, which is built of red sandstone, is largely 12thc, with the exception of the easternmost bay of the nave, which is 19thc. The S doorway has two plain continuous orders.

The 12thc church was aisleless. The N arcade dates from the 14thc; the N aisle and the chancel are 19thc. The 19thc parts of the building incorporate elements from the 12thc, the 14thc and the 15thc. The window on the S wall of the S transept is a reset 12thc window with 14thc tracery.

A rectangular slab showing the relief of a cross, reset into the exterior of the S wall of the nave, is probably Romanesque. Also from the 12thc is the font which is situated at the W end of the nave.


The earliest recorded reference to the church occurs in 1138 when the prior of the abbey of Shrewbury rested the relics of St Winefrede at St Giles during their translation to the abbey. In 1155 Henry II made an annual endowment of 30 shillings to the church. In 1245 Henry III took the hospital under his special protection.


Exterior Features

Exterior Decoration





Font: the stem and pedestal are from a different font. The bowl is said to have come from the abbey of Holy Cross at Shrewsbury. Prior to it being recorded at the abbey in 1825, it is said to have come from the church at High Ercall.

Cross relief: this may have formed part of a tomb slab. According to Bryan (1979), it may have come from the tomb of the founder of the Leper Hospital. It has also been suggested that the slab was a consecration stone. It may be 12thc or 13thc. (Fieldworker)


W. T. Bryan, St. Giles' Church, Shrewsbury. A Guide and Brief History, Shrewsbury 1979.

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Shropshire, Harmondsworth 1958.

St. Giles, Shrewsbury, Church History, n.d.