St Peter’s, Staunton On Arrow
- OS Grid Ref S0337000 260050
- On unclassified road between Shobdon and Pembridge HR6 9HR
- Nearest shop at Shobdon – 2.5 miles
- Pubs at Pembridge (2miles) and Shobdon
The village is inventoried in the Domesday Book. The church stands within the bailey of the adjacent Norman Motte to the west, which is also available to visit.
The original medieval church was demolished in 1853 to allow the building of a new Gothic Revival church that was deemed “more appropriate” by James King King of Staunton Park (presumably for his family and their memorials). He had, a few years earlier, donated land and had built a school for the village. This opened in 1843 and stands next to the churchyard with suitably “gothic-style” windows.
Listed Grade II* and finished in 1860 in classic Victorian Neo-Gothic style it enjoys an imposing position, and looks much bigger than in fact it is. Although without aisles, it has good proportions with fine east and west windows. The list of vicars is unusually long, dating back to 1273. The south transept was, effectively, built as a private “family chapel” for use by the King King’s as witnessed by the fireplace in one corner, providing welcome warmth during services in the Winter.
The tower of 6 bells is often visited by bell-ringers from some distance away, and the organ is a good single manual specimen, and the church offers fine acoustics for choral music. Enthusiasts of architectural history may enjoy identifying the various styles of window tracery, as the Victorian architect seems to have tried to concoct an imaginary “history of development” of the building stretching from Early English through Decorated and even later.
Alongside the south-eastern corner of the churchyard is a stone-walled pound. This once had a sturdy gate with a lock and any livestock that had trespassed on to cultivated land or the lanes were impounded until the owner paid a suitable fine.
Other places nearby that can be seen and are noted in Pevsner’s The Buildings of England but not open to the public. These include Old Court (to the North), Court of Noke (factory shops), The Old Mill (open for annual Mill Weekends), The Old Post Office (next to the Village Hall) and the Old School, already mentioned above.