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St Bartholomew, Longnor, Staffordshire

(53°10′55″N, 1°52′5″W)
SK 089 650
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Staffordshire
now Staffordshire
  • Ron Baxter

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Feature Sets

Longnor is a small town, little bigger than a village but with its own market square and market hall. It is in NE Staffordshire, half a mile from the river Dove that forms the border with Derbyshire and built on a ridge between the valleys of the Dove and the Manifold. As early as 1300 the open fields along the Dove valley and the steeper land running down to the Manifold were in use as pasture land. The present church is a rebuilding in grey stone of 1780-81 and consists of nave and a W tower. The nave is a broad and rectangular with an altar at the E and no separate chancel. In 1812 the walls were raised to allow the insertion of galleries at the W and S. Gallery-level windows were added at the same time - round-headed like those below them. A false ceiling was installed in 1948-49 as part of a general post-war restoration, so the upper windows are visible only on the exterior. The W gallery was converted into a meeting room in 1996. The tower is contemporary with the nave, and has projecting quoins and an embattled parapet with pinnacles at the angles. This is apparently the third church on the site. The previous two were Chapels of Ease to Alstonefield; the first of unknown date, probably 12thc., and the second a 16thc. new build. The Tudor church had become unsafe by 1730 and was derelict by the 1770s. The only Romanesque feature is the font.


In 1086 Longnor was one of the scattered appendages of the manor of Bradley (near Stafford) held by Robert of Stafford and consisted of one hide. It was certainly part of Alstonefield manor by the 13thc, probably earlier, and remained so until the 16thc. Alstonefield was held by William from Earl Roger of Stafford in 1086. A fair and a market were recorded in 1293, held at Longnor by the Lord of Alstonefield.

Benefice of Longnor, Quarnford and Sheen.





The font is the only evidence of a Norman church; the earliest mention of the church itself is in 1448. The font was in the churchyard in 1830, when the archdeacon ordered that it be put back in the church. He had to repeat his order in 1837, but by 1857 it was at the W end of the nave. According to Pevsner the carved motifs are 'scarcely recognizable and must at least partly be re-cut'.

Anon., St Bartholomew's Church Longnor. Undated church guide.
N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Staffordshire. Harmondsworth 1974, 198.
Staffordshire County Council, Staffordshire Views Collection nos SV I 42a, SV-VII.43 and 1994.93).
Victoria County History: Staffordshire. VII Leek and the Moorlands, (1996), 41-49.