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St Cassian, Chaddesley Corbett, Worcestershire

(52°21′37″N, 2°9′41″W)
Chaddesley Corbett
SO 891 736
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Worcestershire
now Worcestershire
medieval Worcester
now Worcester
  • G. L. Pearson

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The church, of sandstone ashlar, consists of an aisled nave, a chancel with a NE chapel, and an 18thc. W tower, which incorporates the entrance. Restorations were carried out in 1863-64 by Butterfield; the work included resetting the N nave doorway in the rebuilt N aisle wall (Roper 1969). Romanesque sculpture is found in this doorway, which is now blocked, in the three E bays of the N nave arcade, in the S arcade, on a fragment inset into the W wall of the tower, and on the font.


William I or William II granted the overlordship of the manor to Robert FitzHamon, and it was later held by William, Earl of Gloucester (d. 1183). Two priests are mentioned here in the Domesday Survey. The advowson belonged to the lords of the manor. (VCH 3: 42)


Exterior Features


Interior Features



Interior Decoration





The nave arcades were built in two phases. The first phase, represented by the three E bays of the N arcade, probably dates from the mid-12thc. The three-bay S arcade and the W bay of the N arcade belong to a second phase, of uncertain date. Although their capitals resemble those of the first phase, the spans of the arches they carry are too wide to be of 12thc. date. Pevsner proposed that they were constructed when the original W tower was built, the entrance arch of which is visible beneath that of the present 18thc. tower; its thin, double-chamfered profile could date from any time between the 14thc. and the 17th. The capitals of the second phase must be imitations of 12thc. work or reused or both; Pevsner suggested that those of the W bay of the N arcade may have come from the original chancel arch, later replaced, and that the S arcade piers may have been respaced when the tower was built. The fragment reset in the W tower wall is probably from a tympanum. Pevsner noted close similarities between the drapery and ornamental detail with the tympanum at Pedmore, and Stratford (in Pevsner 1968, p.45) dated both to the 1150s. The font, dated by Pevsner to c.1160-70, is an outlier of the Herefordshire school, but it also relates to work at Gnosall, Staffordshire. The bipeds resemble those on a 12thc. fragment built into a wall of the Bell Inn at Alveley, Salop, described by Zarnecki (IRSA, no.22 (XI) Vienna 1990).


F. Bond, Fonts and Font Covers. Oxford 1908, 50, 51, 55, 153, 183.

N.Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Worcestershire. Harmondsworth 1968, 17, 45, 46, 116-17.

J. Roper, A History of St Cassian's Church, Chaddesley Corbett. Dudley 1969.

Victoria History of the Counties of England. Worcestershire,vol.III. London 1913, 35-43.

G. Zarnecki, Later English Romanesque Sculpture 1140-1210. London 1953, 15, 56.

G. Zarnecki, 'Germanic Animal Motifs in Romanesque Sculpture', Artibus et Historiae, No. 22, Xi, 1990, reprinted in G. Zarnecki, Further Studies in Romanesque Sculpture. London 1992, 362-82.