St Mary, Kinnerley

Built of the local red sandstone, St Mary's stands on a rise in the centre of a pleasant village in rural North Shropshire. The lower two thirds of the tower are ancient, dating back to around 1400. The nave was rebuilt in the 1770s, and the chancel has an apse, or rounded wall at the east end. On this wall is a painted reredos, a panel showing the Lord's Prayer, the Creed  and the Ten Commandments. 

Grooves may be seen in the lower tower wall where medieval archers sharpened their arrows. 




There is an interesting story about the bells. Two bells were being re-cast in Kinnerley. A passing farmer had just sold two cows named Dobbin and Golden at the Shrewsbury beast market. He was asked what he would give towards the cost of the bells. He replied that he would give Dobbin and Golden.  He put the silver coins he had received for his cattle into the furnace.  So the two bells were thereafter called Dobbin and Golden, and the silver alloy in the bell metal produced the sweetness of the tone.  The first bell has no date inscribed on it, merely the alphabet twice repeated in antique characters, but the second bears the date 1685 with the churchwardens' names.  The third bell was not cast until 1732, by Rudhall of Gloucester.

There is a font of 1862 in the church, but outside in the churchyard is another more  ancient one. It was in danger of being broken up but was rescued and rediscovered 100 years later. The old font is  octagonal and has cut, round the outside, in bold Greek letters the palindrome which translated reads, "Wash not only my face, but my transgressions also."  It is doubtless mediaeval, and rests on an even older round base, carved with linear patterns. 

There is much to see in this lively church which is at the centre of its community.

There is also a Five Church Trail Web Page which incorporates a Virtual Tour of the benefice and much more, for all the family.

From 'A Church Near You'.

See also the Benefice website:



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