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Church of St Mary Magdalene

A Grade II* Listed Building in Bridgnorth, Shropshire

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Latitude: 52.5136 / 52°30'48"N

Longitude: -2.3864 / 2°23'10"W

OS Eastings: 373875

OS Northings: 290705

OS Grid: SO738907

Mapcode National: GBR 08Q.HG9

Mapcode Global: VH915.L28W

Entry Name: Church of St Mary Magdalene

Listing Date: 9 March 1970

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1374848

English Heritage Legacy ID: 254495

Location: Bridgnorth, Shropshire, WV15

County: Shropshire

Civil Parish: Bridgnorth

Traditional County: Shropshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Shropshire

Church of England Parish: Quatford

Church of England Diocese: Hereford

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Listing Text


823/22/262 QUATFORD

(Formerly listed as:


C12 church, of which the nave and tower were rebuilt in 1714 by Henry Pagett and William Higgins. The chancel was restored in 1839, and in 1857 the south aisle and porch were added by Robert Griffiths.

MATERIALS: Medieval parts are of tufa. The C19 work is of local Bunter sandstone with Alveley sandstone dressings, with tile roofs, except for the leaded chancel roof.

PLAN: Nave with slightly wider chancel (which has higher walls but flatter roof than the nave), south aisle under separate roof, south porch and west tower.

EXTERIOR: The church is mainly in Decorated style, apart from the Gothic-survival tower. The buttressed 4-bay south aisle has 2-light windows, and porch in the left-hand bay. The porch has an entrance with pointed arch on a single order of shafts and the south doorway has a simpler continuous chamfer. The nave is tufa in the north wall, of 2 wide buttressed bays, each with C19 2-light windows. At the east end of the nave is a projecting section of the C12 nave wall. The C12 chancel has set-back C19 red-sandstone buttresses. Windows are mainly restorations of C14 originals. The east window is 3-light with reticulated tracery. The south has a single cusped light and lower smaller cusped window to the left. On the north side is a 2-light window and one round-headed restored Norman window. The 3-stage tower has added diagonal buttresses and moulded bands between stages. In the west front is a 2-light window inserted in 1848. In the second stage are small pointed north and south windows, a small west window with weathered head above it, and a round clock face of 1901. Two-light bell openings are beneath an embattled parapet with corner pinnacles.

INTERIOR: The nave has a 4-bay south arcade in C14 style, with octagonal piers, moulded capitals and double-chamfered arches. The tower arch has C19 polygonal responds and moulded capitals, but an arch of c1200, round with 2 orders of chamfer, roll mould and hood mould. An C18 plastered barrel ceiling in the nave is on short hammerbeams on corbelled posts. The aisle has a C19 trussed-rafter roof. The late Norman chancel arch has 2 orders of shafts, eroded block capitals and roll mouldings. In the chancel is a 3-bay cambered tie-beam roof. In the south wall is a Decorated ogee-headed piscina, next to which is a blocked square-headed opening. Interior walls are plastered, except in the chancel where the walls are scraped. A fragment of wall painting, composed of lozenges of the early C12, is in the north chancel wall. The nave has an C18 panelled wainscot in the north wall, and the chancel east wall has an panelled wainscot earlier than the reredos. Nave and aisle have red and black tiles, and raised wooden floors beneath the pews. The chancel, reached up steps, has similar tiles, except for medieval tiles in the sanctuary discovered during the 1857 restoration. Two C13 grave slabs are in the porch floor.

PRINCIPAL FIXTURES: The font is Norman, with 4-leaf flower decoration in roundels around the bowl, presumed to be C17 reworking, on a pedestal of stout clustered shafts. The polygonal pulpit on a broad pedestal has foliage panels, incorporating Christian symbols. A painted Royal arms of George I is on the nave north wall. Pews have plain ends to the aisle but the ends in the nave have blind Gothic panelling. Pews have mostly been removed from the south aisle to create an informal space. Choir stalls of 1911 have shaped ends with panelled fronts, and backs with fielded panels. Priests┬┐ stalls at the ends are distinguished by carved poppy heads. A painted wooden reredos of 1935 incorporates the crucified Christ with Mary and John. Beneath the tower is a Benefaction board of 1846, and painted Ten Commandments and Lord┬┐s Prayer on boards. In the north nave wall is a Gothic tablet to John Smalman (d 1852) by T Gaffin of London. Several windows have stained glass, of the C19 and C20. In the chancel the south windows show Mary Magdalene with Christ; and Christ holding a lantern, of 1873. In the aisle east window are SS Simon and Anna, by Clayton & Bell, 1875. Then in the south the Venerable Bede and Saint Credan, 1904 by Burlison & Grylls; St Wulstan and Lady Adeliza Countess of Shrewsbury, who co-founded the church in the late C11, 1936 by Geoffrey Webb. The aisle west window shows the Virgin Mary and Good Shepherd, dated 1953, by Thomas William Camm of Smethwick.

HISTORY: Founded as a collegiate church in 1084-86 by Roger of Shrewsbury, standing in a commanding position overlooking the Severn valley. The college had moved to Bridgnorth by the mid C13, since when Quatford has been a parish church. Of the present building the C12 nave north wall, chancel, and the chancel and tower arches survive, of what was a substantial Norman church. The tower arch might have been the original west doorway re-set in 1714. The C12 church was built of tufa, which was probably shipped here on the River Severn. The church was modified in the C14 with new fenestration in the chancel. Nave and tower were rebuilt in 1714 by Henry Pagett, master-mason of Bridgnorth, and William Higgins, mason of Pitchford, at which time the nave was narrowed by 6 feet and shortened by 6 feet. The churchwardens stipulated that the tower should be in medieval style. A drawing of 1790 shows the tower without buttresses, and the present arrangement of chancel south windows. Chancel windows were restored in 1839 (plaque on chancel wall). Local architect Robert Griffiths added the south aisle and porch in 1857, altered the nave by inserting Decorated windows, and added buttresses to the chancel and tower.

Friedman, T., `The Golden age of church architecture in Shropshire', Transactions of the Shropshire Archaeological and Historical Society 71, (1996), 110-11, plate 29.
Mercer, E., English Architecture to 1900: The Shropshire Experience (2003), 298, 300.
Newman, J and Pevsner, N., The Buildings of England: Shropshire (2006), 481-82.
Webb, A and Curtis, R., St Mary Magdalene, Quatford: Guide and History (2000).

The church of St Mary Magdalene, Quatford, is listed Grade II* for the following principal reasons:
* It has substantial surviving C12 fabric, including the chancel and tower arches.
* The tower is a good example of C18 Gothic-survival architecture.
* There is interior detail of special interest, including C18 plaster ceiling and C12 font.

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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