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Church of St Kenelm, Romsley

Description: Church of St Kenelm

Grade: I
Date Listed: 16 November 1967
English Heritage Building ID: 156401

OS Grid Reference: SO9444480755
OS Grid Coordinates: 394444, 280755
Latitude/Longitude: 52.4248, -2.0831

Location: Chapel Lane, Romsley, Worcestershire B62 0NG

Locality: Romsley
Local Authority: Bromsgrove District Council
County: Worcestershire
Country: England
Postcode: B62 0NG

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Listing Text


2/136 Church of St Kenelm



Parish church. C12 with C14 alterations and C15 additions; restored c1846.
Red and grey coursed sandstone rubble with sandstone ashlar dressings and
repairs; plain tiled roof has gable-end parapets and kneelers with crocketted
corner pinnacles situated above winged gargoyles. Similar pinnacle also at
apex of east end gable. West tower intersecting with continuous four-bay nave
and chancel. Nave has a south porch and there is an undercroft beneath the
chancel. Mainly Norman and Perpendicular styles. West tower: C15 on C12 base;
grey sandstone and of slender proportions; three stages with chamfered plinth,
offset above lower stage and strings above second stage; tall west archway with
4-centred head and hood mould with large finial and grotesque stops (this once
provided access to a C12 doorway blocked in C19). Upper two stages have small
diagonal corner buttresses with offsets and a large winged gargoyle at each
base. Belfry stage has crocketted and finialed ogee-arched bell-chamber open-
ings with flanking niches of similar design. These niches are repeated in the
corner buttresses which are terminated by gargoyles at the parapet base. The
parapet is embattled, has blind cusped pointed arcading and tall crocketted
corner pinnacles. Nave and chancel: C12; east wall rebuilt C14; diagonal
corner buttresses with offsets (south-west one has a crocketted and finialed
ogee-arched niche). West wall within tower arch has blocked C12 archway with
C19 rectangular light and, above the C12 archway a 3-light C19 window with 4-
centred head. Side elevations of westernmost bay are recessed and have a
chamfered eaves cornice. North elevation has three original pilaster buttresses
and a C19 buttress; a C13 window of two lights with a square head, a similar C19
window and a C14 lancet at the eastern end (to the west of which is a C12 jamb).
C14 door has been inserted beneath the eastern buttresses and there is also
a blocked C14 entrance opposing the south doorway. The south elevation has an
original pilaster buttress and a C19 one. There is a 2-light C14 window with
hood mould at the eastern end situated above a C14 archway which once led to
the undercroft. Also two other 2-light windows, one C14 but much restored, the
other C19 and C19 cusped lancet. To the upper right of the second window
from the east end is a small relief of a figure with a hand raised in benediction
(probably re-set). South porch: C15; timber-framed with rendered and brick infill
on chamfered sandstone base; gabled roof with overhanging eaves on shaped brackets
and moulded bargeboards; 4-centred archway with foliated relief carving in spandrels;
coved jetty above supports a brattished tie-beam; also brattished wall-plates within
and stone benches survive. South doorway is c1150 of two shafted orders, the
outer enriched with a form of ray and fillet moulding, the inner with a beakhead
moulding (recorded as, being the most complete in the county, BoE); shafts are
much restored. The brown sandstone tympanum represents Christ in Majesty (with
ribbed draperies of Herefordshire school) and has a broad interlaced borders.
East end of the church is C14; three tiers of plinth bands, large pointed arch-
way with inserted C20 door provides access to undercroft, above is a 3-light C19
window with sill beam and hoodmould; also band at base of gable and blind rectangu-
lar light in apex. Interior: restored c1840; C19 king-post roof; two rood beam
corbels survive; stone font and pulpit are C19; c1900 wall panelling; fragment
of a C14 cycle of wall paintings illustrating the life of St Kenelm survives at
north-east end. Glass: south window probably by Sir Edward Burne-Jones of c1905
with figures of Peace and Faith. According to disproved legend the church is
built on the site of the murder of St Kenelm, the boy Prince of Meraci in 819 AD.
A holy spring rose from the ground and a shrine was built which became a chapel of
ease to Halesowen Abbey and later was made a parish church in 1841. The church
retains a substantial proportion of its Norman masonry including the impressive
tympanum and mouldings of its south doorway; the striking detailing of its west
tower and the C15 jettied porch are also of particular note. (VCI 3(i), p149;
BoE, p254.)

Listing NGR: SO9444480756

This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.

Source: English Heritage

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.