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St Chad, Pattingham, Staffordshire

(52°35′21″N, 2°15′56″W)
SO 821 991
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Staffordshire
now Staffordshire
  • Ron Baxter

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Feature Sets

Pattingham is in the SW of the county, close to the Shropshire border. The outer suburbs of Wolverhampton are only two miles away to the E, but the western prospect is of hilly farmland towards the Severn and the Shropshire Hills. The village centre retains some of its ancient charm, but the building of dormitory estates to the S and E has changed its scale and character significantly.

The church is of red sandstone and has an aisled and clerestoried nave with a second aisle added on the N side, a chancel and a W tower with spire. The nave is very short; shorter than the chancel, but its aisles extend W alongside the tower, and E alongside the chancel. The inner N aisle is narrow, and the outer N and the S aisle are much wider. Making sense of this rather complex structure requires a chronological approach. The earliest surviving fabric is the two bay arcade of the N inner aisle, which dates from the end of the 12thc. The church ofc.1200 must have had a chancel, and probably a W tower. In the early 13thc. the S aisle was added and the chancel was replaced by the present attractive Early English one. The next major change took place around 1330, when the tower was replaced and the S aisle rebuilt. The new tower arches to N, S and E were wide, opening the space up and effectively lengthening the nave. Around this time too, the S aisle was widened and lengthened; alongside the new tower to the W, and alongside the chancel to the E. All its windows are reticulated, and those of the chapel are larger than those in the nave aisle proper, but all the windows belong to the 19thc. restorations. A view by Buckler of 1846 (William Salt Library SV VII 158) shows the E window of the S chapel with reticulated tracery, implying that the mid-19thc. replacements were copies of the originals. The clerestory also dates from this period (it appears in the early-19thc. views), but it is heavily restored. There was a fire in Pattingham in 1665, but while the village was devastated the church seems to have escaped major damage. The church was comprehensively restored from 1856-93, largely thanks to the generosity of the patron, the 5th Earl of Dartmouth, and the vicar from 1844-1900, W. G. Greenstreet. George Gilbert Scott was involved in this work. The N outer aisle and the vestry were built, paid for by the vicar, the chancel, nave and S aisle were restored and the S porch added, and in 1871 the spire was built to Scott's design. Major restoration continued in the 20thc. The flying buttresses were repaired in the 1960s and the tower and spire in the '80s and '90s. Antiquarian drawings show the tower before the spire was added, with a low pyramid roof. The most interesting are those from the N, illustrating the elevation before the building of the outer N aisle. A view ofc.1800 attributed to R. Paddey (SV VII 160b) shows the church and the vicarage from the NE, and the original N aisle had apparently been widened and refenestrated at that time. The Georgian vicarage still survives. The only Romanesque sculpture is in the N nave arcade.


Pattingham was held by the king in 1086, and had been held by Earl Aelfgar before the Conquest. The estate had 2 hides of ploughland and woodland one league long and half a league broad. A priest was recorded, suggesting the presence of a church at that date. By the early 12thc. Pattingham was held by the Earls of Chester, and from them by the Bassets of Drayton. Richard Basset and his wife Maud founded the Priory of Augustinian Canons at Launde (Leics) before 1125, and Pattingham church was part of the founders' endowment. In the mid-12thc. Ralph Basset gave land to the Black Ladies of Brewood (Staffs) from his Pattingham demesne. The manor was still held by the Bassets in 1316 when Edward II granted a market and a fair to Ralph Basset of Drayton, to be held at Pattingham manor.

Benefice of Pattingham with Patshull.


Interior Features



The arcade sculpture could not be much plainer, and its chief interest is in elucidating the chronology of the building.

Anon, The Parish Church of St Chad Pattingham (church guide), revised 2002.
N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Staffordshire. Harmondsworth 1974, 219.
Staffordshire County Council, Staffordshire Views Collection, SV VII 156, 157, 158, 160a, 160b. Available online at http://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/portal/page?_pageid=47,71124and_dad=portaland_schema=PORTAL
Victoria County History: Leicestershire. II (1954), 10-13.
Victoria County History: Staffordshire. III (1970), 220-22.
Victoria County History: Staffordshire. XX Seisdon hundred (S), (1984)