Pembridge Church

The current chancel of Pembridge church was probably begun before the thirteenth century.  At this time it had chapels attached to north and south.  Some slight traces of these still remain in the south wall of the chancel. The stiff leaf capital of one blocked arch probably dates to twenty years either side of 1200.  In 1265 Roger Mortimer seized Pembridge vill with its church and castle (Pembridge castle is a quite separate structure to Pembride Castle Welsh Newton) from Henry Pembridge, a rebel baron.
It would seem likely that in the first half of the fourteenth century, when under Mortimer control, the large nave, aisles and transepts were added to the church, probably destroying all trace of their predecessors. Possibly this was done for the marriage of Roger Mortimer and Joan Geneville in 1301.  This event is recorded in the Wigmore chronicle.
The fourteenth century clerestorey to the north and the south have four circular windows similar to those seen at Aymestrey church.
The nail studdied door within the north porch would appear to be fourteenth century.
Within the church are some fine carved effigy monuments of probably local dignitaries. The destroyed medieval windows once depicted the arms of  Mortimer, Braose, Geneville and Grandison.
The timber-framed structure of the bell tower was surrounded by a later octagonal wall to make a ground floor ambulatory in the detached belfry shown below. This would appear to have an early thirteenth century origin although it was reconstructed around the end of the fifteenth century.  Quite possibly its timbers were taken from the nearby Pembridge castle.

Copyright©2013 Paul Martin Remfry

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