Lydbury North Church

In the French foundation of Wigmore abbey, a manuscript begun probably during the reign of Richard I (1189-99), the church of Lydbury North is mentioned several times. It is uncertain whether this church or the church of Bishops Castle is actually meant. For this reason descriptions of both buildings are included on this church gazetteer.

Much more remains of the medieval Lydbury North church than of the nearby Bishops Castle. Lydbury North was certainly the mother church of the district. The earliest part is the central nave which is flanked by a later chancel and tower as well as two transepts.  The tower is supported by no less than ten buttresses, its weight obviously being greater than its foundations!

The north transept may have been added in the fourtenth century, while the southern one, known as the Walcot chapel, was rebuilt in the seventeenth century.  The chancel has a single blocked 'Norman' light to the east and a fine south doorway that looks twelfth century [below].

The central nave has a single small, round topped window in its north wall [below].  This could well be of Saxon origin.  The church was first mentioned in the eighth century.  The Plowden chapel occupies the apparently fourteenth century north transept which is entered from the nave through what is probably the reset chancel arch. This arch is similar to the tower arch and both tower and chancel may therefore have been added to the nave simultaneously.

The chancel arch has been replaced by a fine rood screen, above which are religious scriptures painted about 1615.

Copyright©2013 Paul Martin Remfry

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