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Gallery: Churches of Warwickshire
by Peter Kessler & Aidan MacRae Thomson,
18 April 2010
South Warwickshire Part 2: Churches of Wolverton,
Langley & Claverdon
St Mary the Virgin, Wolverton, is on the eastern
side of the Wolverton Road in this hamlet near Claverdon, which was known
as Wolverdington until the middle of the nineteenth century. The church
existed by the thirteenth century and may have been Norman in its earliest
incarnation. Following the Dissolution, the advowson was removed from
St Mary's, Warwick, and given to the local manor, before being presented
to the Church of England in 1754.
Inside the church, there are broken joints in the
masonry where the nave joins the chapel. The nave was built in the second
half of the thirteenth century and the chancel was added or lengthened early
in the fourteenth century. Some remodelling took place at the west end,
probably late in the fourteenth century, to support the bell turret or
an earlier bellcote. The two bells are apparently inaccessible; the original
has no inscription, the second is by T Rudhall, 1771.
St Mary the Virgin, Langley, is on the
eastern side of Ford Lane, opposite a minor lane. Langley is more a
scattered group of houses than a village. It falls within the parish
of Claverdon, to the north, while its church is a tiny brick-built
Victorian building comprising a short nave with a three-sided apse,
or chancel. Until it opened, Langley's parishioners had to travel to
Claverdon. It was only in 1925 that the parish of Wolverton, which
includes Langley, was created.
The parish initially fell under Richard of Hatton
until about 1150, when it was gifted to the Abbey of St Florent,
Samur, and its cell, the Priory of Monmouth. The interior of St Mary's
shows the contrasting colours and surfaces of the different elements of
the simple interior. All the windows are glazed with geometric patterns
in tinted textured glass, excepting one very striking stained glass window
on the south side which was produced by by Birmingham School of Art.
St Michael & All Angels, Claverdon, is
between Church Road and St Michael's Road on the eastern side of the
village. Much of the early church building dates to the fourteenth
century, but a church has been here since at least 1208. By the middle
of the thirteenth century the advowson had fallen come into the hands
of the archdeacon of Worcester, and it has remained so ever since. The
striking tower was added in the fifteenth century, standing prominently
on its escarpment.
The tower was built of large ashlar masonry
externally and of squared rubble or rough ashlar inside. The remainder
of the church is mainly a nineteenth century rebuild (in fact two rebuilds were
undertaken in the same century), which incorporated some older features.
The south aisle was added in 1830, and in 1877-1878 the north aisle
was added and the nave was rebuilt, along with various other work.
The tower was restored in 1930, and contains a ring of six bells.
All photos on this page contributed by Aidan