STONE IN STAFFORDSHIRE

Grid Ref: SJ 904 338
Date 1 March 2022

Arthur Mee, in the Staffordshire volume of his King's England series, points out that Bury Bank, near Stone, an encampment area of about four acres, served as the fortified palace of King Wulfhere, the 7th century Mercian king.  He converted to Christianity, married Ermenilda, the daughter of Egbert and had a daughter, Werburga, after whom Chester Cathedral is named.  Wulfhere reverted to paganism and murdered his sons as they clung to Christianity.  When filled with remorse, he pleaded to St. Chad, who bade him stamp out paganism.  Wulfhere appointed the first bishop of London. At the bottom of Abbey Street there was the cellar of Priory House and some remains of the priory founded by Queen Ermenilda in memory of her sons.

The parish church was built between 1753 and 1758 on the site of an Augustinian priory founded about 1135.  Pevsner notes that there are some walling remains in Abbey Street. In the house called the Priory in Lichfield Street thre is rib-vaulted undercroft of four or more bays. The current church was built by William Robinson in the Gothic Revival style altough the chancel was remodelled in the Perpendicular style in 1887.

Arthur Mee noted that there were relics of an earlier church to be seen in the churchyard including a 17th century altar tomb of Thomas Crompton in armour and his wife in a long dress and ruff.  Within the church is the family mausoleum of John Jervis, Earl of St. Vincent (9 January 1735 – 13 March 1823). John Jervis was born in Meaford Hall, Staffordshire, the second son of Swynfen and Elizabeth Jervis. The young Jervis was educated at Burton Grammar School and subsequently at Reverend Swinden's Academy in Greenwich, London. It was the Battle of Cape St. Vincent, fought against a Spanish fleet in Feburary 1797, that led him to be created Baron Jervis of Meaford and Earl St Vincent.  One of his captains that day was Horation Nelson, who distinguised himself by the capture two ships. Jervis commissioned a picture by Sir William Beechley to hang in the chancel. Mee also notes a bust of Jervis by the sculptor, Francis Leggat Chantrey (7 April 1781 – 25 November 1841).  The church was just closing after a morning service when I arrived so I have no shots of the interior. 

The Roman Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception and St. Dominic in Margaret Street is a large, towerless building. The style is late 13th century but the nave is by Charles Hansom, 1852-54 and the east part by G. Blount, 1861-3. It houses an altar tomb of Bishop Ullathorne created in 1889 by J.S. Hansom.  He was born to a humble family in Pocklington in Yorkshire and started his career firstly as a sailor then a monk.  At the age of 25 he went to New South Wales in Australia, where he worked among the convicts.  He returned after five years to write a damning exposure of the convict system and this led to such indignation that it helped to end the idea of transportation and to make Australia a land of free citizens.  He was bishop of Birmingham for 38 years and died in 1889. There is an adjacent convent of brick. It dates from 1852 to 1863 and J.A and Charles Hansom and then Gilbert Blount were the architects. In the convent garden is the chapel of St. Anne by A.W.N. Pugin, built in 1852-3. Pevsner says that whreas Pugin would have hoped to build something rich, dignified and elevating it turned out, through lack of money, to be rather mean!

Christ Church in Radford Street is in red brick. The nave dates from 1899-1900 by Lynam and the chancel and apse of 1885 is by W. Hawky Lloyd. The Congregational Chapel on Granville Terrace was built from 1870-71 by Bidlake and features a steeple on the corner.

 

Parish Church
Parish Church of St. Michael and St. Wulfad
Church   War Memorial
Tower from the West   War Memorial in the town centre
Base of Cross   Memorial bench
Base of a cross in the churchyard   Memorial bench in the churchyard
Post Office   Catholic Church
Former Post Office now Wetherspoons on Granville Square   Immaculate Conception and St. Dominic on Margaret St.
Brick terrace   School
Fine brick terrace on Northesk Street  

Christ Church Schools of 1887 on Northesk Street

Store   The Bridge public house
Store with ornate upper storey on Radford Street (A520)   The Bridge Public House on corner of Stone and Oulton Roads
Chapel   Christ Church
Congregational Chapel on corner of Granville Terrace   Christ Church, Radford Street
Former Inn   Cumberland House
Falcon Hotel on Christ Church Way and High Street   Cumberland House on High Street
Canal Scene
Canal Scene
Brewery
Joule's Stone Ales Brewery
Crown and Anchor
Crown and Anchor on Station Road facing Granville Square

 

Sources:

The Buildings of England, Staffordshire, by Nikolaus Pevsner, Penguin, 1974, ISBN 0 14 071046 9
The King's England, Staffordshire, by Arthur Mee, Hodder and Stoughton, London, first published in 1937.
The Old Parish Churches of Staffordshire, by Mike Salter, Folly Publications, 1996, ISBN 1871731 25 8

 

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