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St Mary, Edstaston, Shropshire

(52°52′59″N, 2°43′5″W)
SJ 51770 31975
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Shropshire
now Shropshire
  • Barbara Zeitler
31 December 1998

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Edstaston is a small village at the north of the county, 2 miles N of Wem. The church stands in the village centre, and is a single-cell church, nave and chancel in one, all 12thc., including the nave W wall, but the E end of the chancel was remodelled in 14thc. There is no tower but a double bell-turret on the E gable. This and the vestry are 19thc..

The S doorway, N doorway and priest's doorway on the S side of the chancel are decorated with 12thc. sculpture. The N and S doorways (the S under a porch) are late 12thc. with some 19thc. restorations. Remains of two 12thc. string courses can be found in the interior, one at the level of 12thc. windows in the nave and chancel, the other at the springing of the window arches. The lower string course turns into a label above the N, S and chancel doorways. There are four windows in nave, one, on the N wall of the nave close to the chancel, is 12thc., the others 14thc. and later. Below the Norman window in the N wall of nave is a 12thc. recess. The doors are contemporary with the doorways and retain their original ironwork. There is a 14thc. wall painting in the nave.


The village is mentioned in the Domesday Book, when it was held by Earl Roger as overlord and from him by William Pantulf. It was assessed at 2 hides in 1086, with woodland sufficient for fattening 60 pigs. The church was founded as a chapel of ease to Wem, but it has little recorded history before the 16thc.


Exterior Features



Exterior Decoration

String courses
Corbel tables, corbels

Interior Features

Interior Decoration

String courses

The dogtooth ornament on the jambs of the priest's doorway and the trumpet-shaped flowers in the label of the same doorway are similar to those found on the Processional Doorway at Lilleshall Abbey. The trumpet-shaped flowers also occur on the S doorway at St Mary's, Shrewsbury. The triple shaft ring on the nook shafts of the priest's doorway recall those found on the shafts of the lavatorium arches at Haughmond Abbey.

The inner arches of the N and S doorways were renewed in 1882-1883. The window in the N side of the nave is extensively renewed, especially in the arch.

The face at the angle of the capital of the 4th order of the S doorway recalls the faces at the angles of the impost pier of the S nave arcade at Shawbury.


L. Garner, Churches of Shropshire, Shrewsbury, 1994, 65-67.

J. Newman and N. Pevsner, Buildings of England. Shropshire, New Haven and London, 2006, 260-61.

N. Pevsner, Buildings of England: Shropshire, Harmondsworth, 1958, 126.