Little Witley Church (St Michaels)

Little Witley Church_1_2004

The history of Little Witley church is a little obscure. It was not a parish church at the time of the Norman conquest but a chapelry of St. Helens in Worcester. It apparently did not have a font or burial ground until 1375 when application was made to the mother church, as the parish church of Holt was 2 miles distant and the road, especially in winter, ‘watery and muddy’.

The church that stands today was rebuilt in 1867, although a blocked doorway in the north end of the nave is said to date from the early thirteenth century. Some of the foundation courses of the current building may be equally as old. The ‘new’ church was designed by Abraham Edward Perkins, Worcester’s church architect.

The chapelry was transferred to the parish of Great Witley in 1904.

Little Witley church is a listed building, the listing for which reads ‘Church of St Michael – Parish church. C13 foundations, rebuilt 1867 probably by S W Perkins. Red sandstone ashlar, tiled roof. Early English style. Nave with south porch, north vestry, apsidal chancel. 3-bay nave, octagonal plan bell- cote to west end, 3 columns with stiff-leaf capitals, decorative closed sides, conical capping and finial, pointed arched, Y-traceried windows with stiff-leaf capitals to responds, hoodmoulds and stiff-leaf stops flank central part. Timber-framed gabled porch; doorway similar to window surround, moulded archway and stiff-leaf ornament; buttressing to west end and to chancel arch, semi-circular headed doorway on north face only remains of earlier church, 2-bay chancel has simple lancets. Interior: trussed rafter roof to nave supported on stiff-leaf corbels, pointed chancel arch similar to doorway and window surrounds, supported on 2 orders with sitff-leaf capitals.

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