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Gallery: Churches of Warwickshire
by Peter Kessler, 18 April 2010
South Warwickshire Part 37: Churches of
Pillerton Priors to Combrook
St Mary, Pillerton Hersey, stands on rising
ground at the north-western corner of the small village. The two
Pillertons form approximately equal strips, five kilometres (three
miles) long from north-west to south-east, with an average width of a
kilometre and-a-half (one mile). The Roman Fosse Way cuts across the
northern part of both parishes. Earl Thomas gave the advowson in 1334
to the college of St Mary at Warwick, although its descent is complicated.
The church consists of a chancel, nave, north and
south aisles, and a west tower. The chancel, and probably the nave,
dates to the mid-thirteenth century and is one of the best local
examples of its period. The lower part of the tower was perhaps added
a little later in the same century. It was altered and raised in the
fifteenth century. The south aisle, which is shorter than the nave, was
added about 1400, but the two arcades date from the extensive restoration
St Mary & St Margaret, Combrook, is
located in the cleft between the fork for Church Hill and a residential
side road. Originally, there was a chapel in Combrook which was
consecrated by Bishop Simon (1125-1150) in honour of St Margaret.
Exactly when it became a church in its own right is unclear from the
available records, but the parish was never a rich one, and in 1535
the small tithes of the hamlet and the oblations were valued at a
little over five pounds.
The small parish church consists of a chancel and
nave, with a small west bell cote, north and south aisles, and a north
vestry. The chancel was rebuilt in 1831, and the nave in 1866. The
masonry of the chancel, of roughly squared white stone rubble with Hornton
stone angle-dressings, appears to be partly ancient, but all the windows
and other features are modern, the only medieval fitting is the
font, which is of a flower pot shape with no indication of its date.
In 1853 the hamlet, with part of Compton Verney,
was constituted a parish. At first this was as a curacy under Kineton,
but subsequently it was consolidated with Compton Verney. The patronage
was acquired from the executors of Lord Willoughby de Broke, along with
the Combrook estate, by Lord Manton in about 1930. From 1932 it was held
by Samuel Lamb of Compton Verney House, but he moved out during the Second
World War when the house was requisitioned.
All photos on this page contributed by Aidan