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Heath Chapel, Heath, Shropshire

(52°27′59″N, 2°39′12″W)
SO 557 856
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Shropshire
now Shropshire
medieval Hereford
now Hereford
  • Barbara Zeitler
  • Ron Baxter
  • Barbara Zeitler
  • Ron Baxter
16 August 1998 (BZ), 13 June 2023 (RB)

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Heath is a hamlet and small civil parish in the Clee Hills area of south Shropshire. It was once larger, and the church is a remnant of the Desrted Medieval Village of Heath, surrounded by typical earthworks, house platforms, hollow ways and ridge and furrow. Apart from these the chapel stands alone in a field. The nave and the chancel, built in the 1140s, are almost unaltered, except for the window in the N wall of the nave, which dates from the 17thc. An unornamented string course runs across the exterior and the interior of both nave and chancel. The capitals on the chancel arch have some decoration. The S doorway, made of yellow sandstone, is extensively decorated with sculpture. The masonry includes mixed rubble and some tile, probably Roman. Nave and chancel have flat buttresses. There is also a 12thc. font and three shaft sections with integral capitals.


The Heath was not recorded by name in the Domesday Survey, but is presumed to have belonged to Wenlock Priory's manor of Stoke St Milborough. The priory claimed to have been overlords since the 1190s or earlier and in 1255 it was held from the priory by the Baron of Castle Holdgate. The chapel once served the village of Heath, which is now abandoned, and was dependent on Stoke St Milborough church.


Exterior Features


Interior Features


Chancel arch/Apse arches



Loose Sculpture


Pevsner describes this as "the perfect example of a rich little Norman chapel", Unfortunately the sculpture of the doorway is so badly worn that the capital forms are not identifiable with any certainty, and the chancel arch capitals have a heavy coat of whitewash obscuring their details. The presence of a sophisticated and well-planned form of chevron on the doorway suggests a date around the mid-12thc., while the tiny lancets and flat buttresses would seem to rule out anything much later than this. The loose stones are enigmatic; pillar piscinas seem likeliest in which case at least two of the fragments must come from the same object. A good deal of re-used Roman material is incorporated into the fabric - not merely tile but also large ashlar blocks with signs of carving remaining.


R. W. Eyton, Antiquities of Shropshire, 12 vols, London 1854-60, vol. 4, 19.

Historic England Listed Building 484154

Klein P, A Guide to The Heath Chapel Shropshire, Leominster 1990.

  1. J. Newman and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Shropshire New Haven and London 2006, 295.

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Shropshire: Harmondsworth, Middlesex 1958, 147.

Victoria County History: Shropshire, 10 (1998), 393-99