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St Nicholas, Beaudesert, Warwickshire

(52°17′30″N, 1°46′32″W)
SP 154 660
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Warwickshire
now Warwickshire
medieval Worcester
now Coventry
  • Harry Sunley

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A basic church with nave and chancel, and a W tower offset to the S. The vaulted chancel is essentially Romanesque but with some restoration. The Romanesque S doorway has been very heavily restored and the simple N doorway has been reset. The body is built of sandstone rubble, but the sculptures and ashlar are in both red and grey sandstone. The church lies at the bottom of the hill on which the castle of the de Montforts once stood.


No church is mentioned in the Domesday Survey. The manor was held by Thurstan de Monfort, and the advowson descended with the manor until 15thc. The N wall was moved inwards in the 16thc., and a tower built at the W end in 15thc (all from VCH).


Exterior Features



Interior Features


Chancel arch/Apse arches

Vaulting/Roof Supports


The decorative design is consistent; the chevron form is the same for the S door, the E window and chancel arch. The imposts, unusually, all have two grooves compared with the usual one. How far the renewed parts followed the original is not hard to establish in the case of the S door, where a few examples of the original, albeit eroded, remain. Where there are remains of the original on the first order of R side of the chancel arch, these have been copied, and it might be assumed that this is the case for the other orders. An interesting feature is the setting back of the springers on the impost platform on the S door and the chancel arches. This can perhaps be explained by the inequality of the arch and jamb orders. Whether this could have been caused by a rebuild of both arches is questionable, but they seem coherent, and hence is unlikely. There is little doubt that the masons' marks are original as, in particular, the are an 'M' or 'W' based genus; they are not recent as one at least has paint in its grooves. Remains of Romanesque vaulting are unusual in Warwickshire, only seen otherwise at the undercrofts of St John the Baptist, Berkswell and St Mary, Warwick.

The author and the CRSBI would like to thank Dr Steven Basset for his contribution to this text.

Victoria County History: Warwickshire. Vol. 3, p.43 ff.
R.H.C. Davies, 'A Catalogue of Masons' Marks as an Aid to Architectural History', Journal of the British Archeological Association. Vol. 17, 1954.
Pevsner and Wedgewood, The Buildings of England,:Warwickshire 88.