"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Monday, 1 August 2016

St Gregory's Church, Morville

Before we left Morville I just had time for a quick look round St Gregory's church. A church existed on the site by 1042 AD probably located a little to the North of the present church. No traces now remain of the earlier building. The present church was built by the Benedictine monks of Shrewsbury Abbey in 1118. It was made into a Priory which was dependent on the Abbey. The Priory at Morville was probably built on the site where Morville Hall stands today. St Gregory's was enlarged later in the 11th century and the tower was built. There was a restoration in the 19th century but the church interior still retains its Norman character. It is the only church in Shropshire dedicated to St Gregory.

There is a sad story in one of the leaflets available in the church which relates how, following the Bishop of Hereford's dedication in 1118, a thunderstorm developed as people were walking home and 2 women and 5 horses were struck by lightning and killed.

The broken ancient churchyard cross once had a sundial, mounted on the base, which was sadly stolen in 1997.

The South Door contains 12th century ironwork.

Stained Glass

The East Window

There is a small piece of 13th century glass in one of the two Chancel windows (see photos below)

Four wooden figures above pillars in the Nave represent the four Evangelists. They are probably 17th century although their origin is unknown. Unfortunately, all my photos were blurred due to very low shutter speed so just one picture (the least blurred!!) which represents St Mark with a Winged Lion.

This ancient chest was hollowed from an oak tree and is probably much older than the 13th century ironwork.

The font has superb carvings and it is thought it could be Saxon.

A very beautiful and peaceful church steeped in history in a lovely location.


Simon Douglas Thompson said...

More stolen heritage, probably taken to a scrap dealers for less than a tenner.

Margaret Adamson said...

Another lovely church visited but the stain glass windows do it for me.

Ragged Robin said...

Simon Douglas Thompson - Very sad Simon.

Margaret Adamson - They were lovely Margaret - couldn't find much information on them unfortunately I wonder if they were from the 19th century restoration? My favourite was the font!

Wendy said...

It is fascinating to see history from the Saxon and early Medieval period. If the oak chest is older than the 1200s, I wonder how old the oak tree was when it was cut down. It is amazing to think that it could have been growing for hundreds of years before then.

Rosie said...

Recently I found a little leaflet and a couple of postcards bought at the church, whilst I was looking for something else, and they brought back some lovely memories as have your photos. The font is very interesting as is the chest. Such a shame the sundial was stolen. Your photos are lovely. I'm so glad you were able to see inside the church on your visit:)

Ragged Robin said...

Wendy - Thanks so much - the history of churches is what really interests me when I visit them. It is so wonderful to see items that are so old and the craftsmanship in them :) The chest was superb and as you say when you think of the oak tree growing for years and years before that it is amazing.

Rosie - Thanks so much. So pleased the church was open and we were both able to visit :) I only had about 10 minutes to look round as the horrors of the M6 in the rush hour beckoned and we had to be home before 6.00 as eldest hadn't got his house keys with him! I would have liked to buy some postcards too but only had enough money for the leaflets - if I'd left and gone back to the car I wouldn't have had time to go back in:( I am sure you felt the same as me about the magical atmosphere of both the gardens and the church.

CherryPie said...

The church looks so interesting. I am especially fascinated by the oak chest, I have not seen anything like it before.

Ragged Robin said...

CherryPie - Thanks so much. If you manage to visit the gardens you park next to the church so it is easy to pop in. I think it is the oldest oak chest I have seen in a church!