Leintwardine Church

Leintwardine was another vill held by the Mortimers of Wigmore from 1075 onwards. Between 1174 and 1179 Hugh Mortimer granted the church to his new foundation of Wigmore abbey.

Judging from its history, it is to be presumed that the Mortimers were responsible for the first known masonry church here, the remains of 'a twelfth century' doorway can still be made out in the west wall of the nave. Towards the end of the thirteenth century a south aisle was added to the nave and in the first half of the fourteenth century a north aisle and two chapels were added together with a new chancel and an impressive south tower of five storeys over a powerful porch. The Lady chapel was formerly known as the Mortimer chapel after its patron, Earl Roger Mortimer (d.1330), who ordered it built after overthrowing King Edward II in 1326. In September and November 1353, King Edward III, the man who had had Roger Mortimer executed, came to Leintwardine and placed a cloth of gold at the feet of the statue of the Virgin Mary on his first visit to the chapel. Was this a concession to the memory of the man he had had killed? The choir stalls are plausibly said to come from Wigmore abbey.

After the dissolution of the monasteries the fifteenth century reredos was brought from Wigmore abbey and now stands on either side of the east window. Simultaneously the oak stalls and misericords were acquired from the same source.

Copyright©2013 Paul Martin Remfry

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