"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

Tuesday, 24 May 2022

Trip to Herefordshire - Part 4 - The Church of St James, Wigmore and Wigmore Village


Last time we visited Wigmore Castle I omitted to visit the church of St James which has herringbone masonry inside and out.  I explained to B and D that I just wanted to have a quick walk round the exterior of the church and churchyard and as, no doubt, the church was closed, I'd only be 10 minutes Doh! should never have said that the church was open. Could I resist going inside? No I couldn't. But it was a quick 10/15 minute whizz round snapping everything in sight only stopping to change the iso as parts of the church were really dark even though the nave was light and full of space. So please forgive poor quality of photos. As it happened I needn't have rushed as on the way back to the car B and D had had a drink in a pub garden and when I got back to the car they were buying icecreams!  So yet again its another church I need to return to especially as I didn't look round the exterior or churchyard.

The Parish Church of St James was built, maintained and enlarged by the Mortimer Family and was probably built in the 11th Century on the site of an earlier church.

The nave probably dates to c1100 and the chancel was rebuilt in the early 14th century when a wide South Aisle was also added.  The West Tower is mid 14th century.

The almost circular shape of the churchyard and its position on a ridge line surrounded by a wall suggests that the earlier Saxon church had been built on an earlier, perhaps Celtic, site.

The timber South Porch by G F Bodley who restored the nave and aisles in 1864/65 and the chancel in 1868.

The church door looks a lot older.


Victorian encaustic tiles in the nave.

Here it is! The herringbone masonry on the north wall dates back to the 11th century and is constructed of local Silurian limestone.

15th century nave roof.

The North Chapel was added 1415 and has many memorial tables including one with weeping willows by EH Kevill Davies.

The pulpit is early 16th century and is polygonal with linen fold panels.

The Chancel

Victorian encaustic tiles by Chamberlain and Co of Worcester.

The four side windows in the chancel are by David Evans of Shrewsbury 1849.

The East Window c1879 probably by Clayton and Bell.

Kneelers which include a shell motif. The scallop shell of St James is believed to symbolise courage, strength and hope. For centuries it has been the symbol of pilgrims who journey to Santiago. In medieval times pilgrims would often wear a shell pilgrim badge as they travelled to shrines. They also carried a scallop shell and would be given food or water to fill it as they journeyed.

A plain 14th century octagonal font 

The churchyard cross has a 14th century base with a 19th century shaft and head.

Wigmore Village -lots of timber framed cottages again :)

On Saturday we came home but called at Leigh Court Tithe Barn on the way which I'll write about in the next post.

I hope everyone is staying safe and well.

All photos taken by me with the Panasonic Lumix FZ330 bridge camera.  Please note if you wish to use any of these photos I would be grateful if you could email me at the address under the profile. Thanks.

Reference:  Information Boards around the Church

Pevsner "The Buildings of England Herefordshire" by A Brooke and N Pevsner. Published 2017 Yale University Press.


Rustic Pumpkin said...

much as I love seeing all your photos, I can't help smiling. We're slowly getting a bit braver. Mind, I'm sure you'd think twice if there were a lot of people about? I know the excitement for you was the herringbone masonry, but for me it is the Victorian encaustic tiles.

Ragged Robin said...

Rustic Pumpkin - Thanks so much. I did wear a mask! I still get nervous in buildings tbh. Not sure if I could cope with somewhere like a cathedral. One lady in there who was something to do with the church. One other couple but some way away and they soon left. I liked the tiles too of course now I wish I had taken more photos! But so much to see and so little time available. Story of my life re: churches!!!!

Billy Blue Eyes said...

I've done the same as you popping into a church quickly, my wife was not amused over that a few times. I did it on my son the other week when I stopped off at a church outside Reading to see if it was open, it was so he had to wait while I took photos with my iphone

Ragged Robin said...

Billy Blue Eyes - Thanks so much. Yes it is very difficult when you are with family who don't share your interests in churches! OH will wait but gets impatient so I have to whizz round - so unsatisfactory. Son will look at some medieval churches if gargoyles and corbels, preferably monsters! but to be fair he will often go off and look round a village and leave me to it. I often have to miss icecreams or a pub drink in exchange for a church visit when with whole family.

Billy Blue Eyes said...

Might add I visited a church in Wales when he was with us one time, while I documented the church he sat in the churchyard and drew a great drawing of the church, he went on to go to art collage where e is finishing off at the moment. He followed his dream and did something he wanted

Ragged Robin said...

Billy Blue Eyes - What a lovely story and always good when someone follows their dreams - he sounds very talented.

CherryPie said...

I am so glad to see that the church is now open. When we visited Wigmore there was a notice to say that it was permanently closed.

Ragged Robin said...

CherryPie Thank you. I aws surprised it was open and I had heard it was closed. I am sure I heard somewhere plans for a community place but I may be wrong?