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St Eadburga, Leigh, Worcestershire

(52°10′42″N, 2°19′2″W)
SO 784 534
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Worcestershire
now Worcestershire
medieval Worcester
now Worcester
  • G. L. Pearson

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The 12thc. features of the church are the nave, the S nave arcade and the W part of the chancel. In the later 12thc. or the early 13thc. the S aisle was widened and lengthened, and an arched entrance made into the chancel. There is a 14thc. W tower of sandstone ashlar, and a timber porch. The church is otherwise mainly built of red sandstone rubble, but the 12thc. work inside is of a pale grey stone. Romanesque sculpture is found in the niche or blocked window in the exterior N nave wall, which until 1970 contained a carved relief of Christ, now inside the church, in the chancel and S chapel arches and in the S nave arcade. The font is probably 19thc., but shows Romanesque features.


Before the Conquest and in 1086 the manor of Leigh was held by Pershore Abbey; Pershore possessed relics of St Eadburga, and there was a chapel dedicated to her there.


Exterior Features


Exterior Decoration


Interior Features


Chancel arch/Apse arches





Loose Sculpture


Pevsner proposed that the carved panel of Christ was in fact a reused coffin lid, ofc.1220, but the Victoria and Albert Museum supported the VCH's dating ofc.1100. Tudor-Craig (1989) suggests a mid-11th century date for the panel and points out that it is unlikely to have been a coffin lid, given its subject. The blocked window or niche on the N nave wall is set at a similar height to windows and blank windows at Rock (Pevsner), but that at Leigh may be earlier; like the chancel arch, it probably dates from the early 12thc. The motifs on the top band of the font are related to decoration on the font at Suckley; Stratford in Pevsner 1968 (211, fn.) questions the authenticity of the Leigh font, however. The S chapel trumpet capitals with recessed circular shields resemble sculpture at Dodderhill, and there are also affinities with capitals in the S chapel arch at Stoke Prior. Those at Leigh appear to be later than these others, and may date from the very early 13thc.


S. Lisle-Wright, A History of the Church of St Edburga, Leigh (1989).

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Worcestershire. Harmondsworth 1968, 211-12.

M. Thurlby, 'Observations on Romanesque Church Architecture and Sculpture in Worcestershire’, Transactions of The Worcestershire Archaeological Society, 3 ser. 28 (2022), 73-121.

P. Tudor-Craig, 'Controversial Sculpture:The Southwell Tympanum, the Glastonbury Respond, the Leigh Christ', Anglo-Norman Studies, 12, 1989, 211-13, 224-30.

The Victoria History of the Counties of England. Worcestershire, vol.II. London 1906, 194-95; vol.IV, London 1924, 103-11, 106-10.