NORBURY

Grid Ref: Church at SJ 786 235: Moat at SJ 796 232
26 July 2005

Church spacer Norbury Junction
St. Peter's, Norbury   Norbury Junction
Erratic Boulder   moat
Erratic Boulder at Norbury Junction   Remains of Moated Site

 

St. Peter's at Norbury was largely built between in the first half of the 14th century. The brick tower may have been built by William Baker in 1759. Unfortunately it was closed when I called but Pevsner describes the east window as too good to be true. It was designed by Miss C. S. Burne in 1873.

Pevsner notes that on the north side of the chancel there is an effigy of a cross-legged knight, who may have been the man who built the church. He claims it is the effigy of one of two Ralph Butchers, one of whom died in 1310 and one in 1342. Arthur Mee describes the effigy as being of Ralph le Botiller and Mike Salter states that it is Ralph Botiller the younger, who died in 1342. There are also defaced effigies of a 14th century knight, who may be Sir Edward Botiller, died 1412, and his wife and mother. In addition there is a brass of Lady Hawys Botiller of about 1360.

Mee relates that Ralph le Botiller was the founder of the church and in 1302 charged the rector with stealing fish from the manor pond. Three years later one of his servants murdered the rector and it is thought that Ralph built the new church by way of penance. A slate memorial in the chancel commemorates Robert Skrymsher (died 1708) Adjutant General to Prince Rupert during the Civil War. The Skrymshers acquired the manor house in the 16th century. The Skrymsher heiress then married Richard Barnfield and their eldest son Richard, born in 1574 was a poet. The manor house stood until the 19th century. In the 19th century the Earl of Lichfield was the Lord of the Manor of Norbury.

About a mile south east of the church is Norbury Junction where the Shropshire Union Canal meets a stretch of canal that formerly went to Oulton but now leads a hundred yards or so to a dry dock. At the junction there is a public house and a bargee's chandelry with café that is open all day. By the road bridge that crosses the canal at this point is a glacial erratic boulder carved with MM for the millennium. A footpath going from this bridge to the north west brings you to the site of the former moated manor house that still has the masonry of the foundations at the water's edge. Nearby stands a more recent manor house - a substantial brick building of three storeys.

Sources:

The Buildings of England, Staffordshire, by Nikolaus Pevsner, Penguin, 1974, ISBN 0 14 071046 9
The Old Parish Churches of Staffordshire, by Mike Salter, Folly Publications, first edition 1989, reprinted 1996, ISBN 1 871731 03 8
The King's England, Staffordshire, by Arthur Mee, Hodder and Stoughton, London, 1st edition 1937, 4th impression 1948
Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851 quoted on the Genuki site

 

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