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Churches of the British Isles

Gallery: Churches of Warwickshire

by Peter Kessler, 18 April 2010

South Warwickshire Part 37: Churches of Pillerton Priors to Combrook

St Mary

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.

St Mary

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 of 1875.

St Mary & St Margaret

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.

St Mary & St Margaret

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.

St Mary & St Margaret

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 kindly contributed by Aidan McRae Thomson.



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