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St Peter, Farmington, Gloucestershire

(51°50′10″N, 1°48′9″W)
SP 137 153
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Gloucestershire
now Gloucestershire
medieval Worcester
now Gloucester
medieval St Peter
now St Peter
  • John Wand
  • John Wand
19 July 2013, 30 July 2018

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Farmington is a small Cotswold village close to Northleach, Gloucestershire. Its medieval name was Thormarton (or Thormerton); the modern name of Farmington is thought to be due to dialect changes. The church, which is built of coursed and squared limestone and limestone rubble, lies on the edge of the village, and consists of a chancel with N vestry, nave with N aisle, S porch and W tower. Despite presenting a later medieval appearance from the outside, it has a Norman core. The Romanesque elements consist of the N arcade, chancel arch, S doorway and corbel table which can be seen on both N and S nave and chancel walls. The N chancel corbel table has been largely removed; the two most easterly corbels remain, as does the cornice, which is identical to that used on the other corbel tables. There is also a plain 12thc. window in the W wall which was blocked when the tower was built.


Prior to the Conquest, Farmington was part of the Northleach estate. By 1086 it was held as a separate manor by Walter fitzPons. By the 12thc. the manor had passed with the Berkshire manor of Eaton Hastings to a family whose members had the surname of either Eaton or Hastings; Farmington was held by William of Eaton in 1182.


Exterior Features


Exterior Decoration

Corbel tables, corbels

Interior Features


Chancel arch/Apse arches



Given the similarity of the motif on the reset sculpture to the frieze on the S chancel corbel table, it is probable that the sculpture was displaced when later medieval windows were inserted high in the S wall, or alternatively came from a similar frieze on the N chancel wall. If the N wall was to match the S chancel wall, then some of the frieze (as well as most of the corbels) are missing.

The presence of corbels on (what is now) the inner wall of the N aisle, and their similarity in style to the S corbel tables, suggests that the corbel tables were built in one phase, prior to the construction of the N aisle and arcade. The N and S nave corbel tables have 21 and 24 elements respectively. In the N nave wall, rolls and plain brackets alternate for most of the length of the corbel table, and there are 9 rolls, whereas on the S nave side there is no consistency in pattern, and only 6 rolls. After the construction of the N aisle, the N nave wall and corbel table is unlikely to have been disturbed and the alternating pattern of corbels might be the original design. In addition the S corbel table has four carved heads. It is possible that the carved heads are a later addition, giving at least 20 plain/roll brackets on this nave wall originally. The corbel table on the S side may have been reset at some point, possibly when the windows were installed, at which point the wall was also re-aligned, as can be seen to the E of the porch. This procedure may have resulted in a mixing of the roll and plain brackets, and the introduction of the four carved heads.

The chancel arch and S doorway share very similar decoration in the capitals, and doubtless are a result of a single phase.

The fact that the N nave arcade has pointed arches but scalloped capitals suggests this may be very late 12thc work.

For another roughly contemporary doorway with similar interlocking beaded circles, see Chislet, Kent. Clearly, due to the distance, there is unlikely to be any direct conenction between the two sites.


F. Arnold-Forster, Studies in Church Dedications (London, 1899), III, 122.

N.M. Herbert (ed.), ‘Farmington’ in Victoria County History of Gloucestershire, Vol. 9 (London, 2001), 69-81.

Historic England Building listing 1090503

D. Verey and A. Brooks, The Buildings of England, Gloucestershire I: the Cotswolds, 3rd edition (London, 1999), 375-376.

A.Williams and G.H. Martin (ed.), Domesday Book: A Complete Translation (London, 2003), 452.