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St Michael, Bockleton, Worcestershire

(52°14′57″N, 2°35′51″W)
SO 593 614
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Worcestershire
now Worcestershire
medieval Hereford
now Worcester
  • G. L. Pearson

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Feature Sets

Built of sandstone rubble, plastered within, the church has an aisleless nave and chancel, of the 12thc. and 13thc. respectively, a N chapel ofc.1560 and a 17thc. or 18thc. W tower. The doorways on the N and S sides of the nave are both inset into a frontispiece that runs the full height of the building; the N doorway is larger and more grandly decorated than the S (the slope of the land from S to N determined that the main entrance should be on the N). The S doorway is now blocked. Romanesque sculpture is found in these doorways, and in the blind arcading above them.


In 1086, Bockleton was held by the Bishop of Hereford. The overlordship remained with the bishops of Hereford until the 17thc. The advowson is first mentioned under Bishop Robert (1174-86), when it belonged to the lord of the manor, Richard de Bockleton. An heir, Robert de Bockleton, held the manor in 1220.


Exterior Features


Exterior Decoration


The sculptural decoration of Bockleton, with its two doorways and frontispieces, is richer and more inventive than the other related buildings in and around the Teme Valley (Stockton-on-Teme, Bockleton, Knighton-on-Teme, Eastham, Stoulton). All but Stockton-on-Teme have blind arcading, either simple or intersecting, above the doorway, and the buildings are also distinguished by their use of chip-carved decoration. Stratford in Pevsner (p.45) dates Bockleton to the 1160s, the other buildings toc.1120-50. Doorways set in a projecting bay, as here, occur in a number of churches in the county (see Preface to Worcestershire).

The Victoria History of the Counties of England. Worcestershire, vol.IV. London 1924, 241-246, 243-244.
C. J. Bond, 'Church and Parish in Norman Worcestershire' in J. Blair (ed.) Minsters and Parish Churches.The Local Church in Transition 950-1200, Oxford University Committee for Archaeology Monograph 17, Oxford 1988, 119-158, 145-147, 149, 154.
N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Worcestershire. Harmondsworth 1968, 15, 45, 94.