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St Leonard, Beoley, Worcestershire

(52°19′31″N, 1°54′21″W)
SP 065 697
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Worcestershire
now Worcestershire
medieval Worcester
now Worcester
  • G. L. Pearson

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Built in faced sandstone rubble, the tower of sandstone ashlar. Nave with N and S aisles, chancel, N chapel and W tower. Restoration in 1885. The nave and W half of the chancel were built in the early part of the 12thc., the chancel being extended to its present length, and the nave aisles added in the 13thc. The only 12thc. sculpture is a relief set into the S wall inside, and the font.


In 1086 the abbey of Pershore was holding the manor of Beoley. No under-tenant is mentioned in the Domesday Survey, but in the next century William Beauchamp held these 21 hides under the church of Pershore, and his descendants apparently continued as mesne-lords until they acquired the manor in feec.1265. The abbey of Alcester which was founded in 1140 by Ralph Boteler, received a grant of the church from Geoffrey de Limesi and his mother Hawise, and it was confirmed to them by Henry II.


Interior Features


Chancel arch/Apse arches

Interior Decoration





VCH dates the font to the early part of the 13thc. but Pevsner is uncertain and wonders if it could possibly be 12thc. The style of the carving, especially in its smooth 'sanded' finish, should be compared with sculpture at Bretforton and the base of the font at Elmley Castle, both of which may be early 13thc. The very narrow chancel was also very short until it was extended in the 13thc., and Beoley must have been, at its first building, a small church. Its unsculpted 12thc. chancel arch is also modest in scale and detail.

The Victoria History of the Counties of England. Worcestrshire, vol.IV, London 1924, 12-19, 16-17.
N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Worcestershire, Harmondsworth 1968, 80-81.