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All Saints, Trysull, Staffordshire

(52°32′46″N, 2°13′10″W)
SO 852 943
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Staffordshire
now Staffordshire
  • Ron Baxter

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Feature Sets

Trysull is a small village in the SW of the county, only a mile from Womborne and two from the edge of Wolverhampton, both to the E. For the moment the village is surrounded by the rolling farmland of the area; the prospect least affected by the industrial sprawl being westward towards the Severn and the Shropshire Hills. The village itself lies in the shallow valley of the Smestow Brook, which runs W to E at this point before turning S to follow the line of the Staffordshire and Worcestershire canal, eventually joining the Stour near Kinver.

All Saints stands at the crossroads in the centre of the village, and is a stocky building of pink sandstone. It consists of a nave and chancel under a single roof with no chancel arch, low N and S aisles, and a W tower. The present boundary of the chancel is marked by a screen of c.1500, which makes the chancel very short. The nave arcades are of four bays, the easternmost on either side being significantly taller than the rest. Bay 1 on the N side is part of the 19thc. lengthening of the aisle, but its companion on the S may originally have been the entrances to chapels. The arcades date from the years around 1300, but they are of different designs; the N with circular piers and the S with octagonal ones. Pevsner notes that the arcade bays match neither the aisle windows nor each other. The E window of the S aisle has intersecting tracery of c.1300, and the chancel E window a flowing design of c.1350. The masonry of the N aisle shows that it has been extended eastwards, and two 1837 drawings indeed show a shorter aisle and a correspondingly longer chancel (William Salt Library SV XI 66a, 70b). The nave has no clerestorey, although dormers have been added on the S slope of the roof to provide more light. In the N nave aisle is a low blocked doorway with a monolithic semicircular head. It may have been the original N doorway, re-set after the aisle was built and later blocked, but its height is difficult to explain. There is a S doorway under a 19thc. porch, and a polygonal vestry on the N side, next to the tower. Pevsner considers the tower to be Decorated or Perpendicular, but the lower storey may be 12thc.; its angle buttresses are a later addition. A date of 1897 on the rainwater heads probably indicates a restoration. Buckler's NW view of 1846 shows the vestry already in place at that date (SV XI 68). The only 12thc. work recorded here is a large monolithic door or window head re-set in the exterior N aisle.


Trysull was held by Thorgot before the Conquest, and in 1086 by Baldwin from William fitzAnsculf. There were two hides of ploughland, four acres of meadow and a mill, and no church or priest was recorded. Sub-tenant were at first styled Frankley or Bradley, and later Tressell, from the name of the village. A fair and a market were granted by Henry III in 1251 to Thomas de Tressell. By 1396 the manor had passed to the Lowes, lords of Whittington (Worcestershire). By 1557 it had passed to the Thomas Grey of Enville, who bouught the neighbouring village of Seisdon in that year. The estate was bought by Sir Hugh Wrottesley in 1633, and it remained in the family until it was sold in 1929.

Wido de Offendi gave the church of Wombourne to the Cluniac priory of Dudley, a gift that was adjudged by Bishop Richard Peche (1161-81) to include the dependent chapels of Trysull and Seisdon.

Part of the Smestow Vale Team - Wombourne, Bobbington, Himley, Swindon, and Trysull


Exterior Features



Whether the stone is a door head or a window head, it is likely to belong to the later 11thc. rather than the 12thc.

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Staffordshire. Harmondsworth 1974, 286-87.
Staffordshire County Council, Staffordshire Views Collection, SV XI 66a, 67, 68, 70b. Available online at http://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/portal/page?_pageid=47,71124and_dad=portaland_sche ma=PORTAL
Victoria County History: Staffordshire. XX Seisdon hundred (S), (1984)
Victoria County History: Worcestershire. II (1971), 158-62.