A brief history
(According to Rob)
The traditional building material in the local area was oak and many
of the buildings would have been oak beamed houses with wattle and daub.
In the middle 1500s brick started to be used, but only for the construction
of chimney stacks. It wasn't until the end of the Jacobean period (1603
- 1625) that brick became more common place but only for those that could
afford to have it brought in. Stone was also common especially where close
to a quarry, beyond that it was only used again by the wealthy.
High Ercall Church
The church was likely first built by the Saxons and then later by the
Normans in around 1080, with Kelly's Directory saying that "The church
of St Michael, erected about 1280, in place of an earlier church dedicated
to St Edward the confessor".
The chancel, aisle, arcade and the lower part of the tower are Norman.
The arcade pillars were inserted at a later date.
In the chancel is the figure of an armoured Knight from about 1090, with
his feet resting on a lion, from his belt hangs a small bottle showing
he had made a pilgrimage.
A grey marble slab of 1304 bears the inscription "Dame Alianore Lestrange
de Blankminster gist ici".
Under the West window is a figure of a priest, possibly from about the
The western tower is 5 Feet thick with the lower part Norman and the upper
15th century. The church was heavily damaged in the Civil war, with the
Parliamentarians in 1645 reporting "they had made a great breach"
into it and it was "demolished". According to Michael Moulder
in his book 'Shropshire' it was repaired and re-opened by 1662 with good
double hammer beam roof to the Nave and chancel. It was restored in 1865
by G E Street.
Transactions, 3 rd series says, "there are 8 bells, the first and
second were cast by John Briant of Hertford in 1812, and are inscribed
with couplets composed by a local schoolmaster named Wilding. The others
were originally a ring of six cast by Abraham Rudhall in 1707, but the
1 st (now 3 rd) was recast by Thomas Rudhall in 1767, the 2 nd (now 4
th) by Abel RudHall in 1759, and the 4 th (now 6 th) by Thomas Rod Hall
A list of some of the vicars of St Michaels can be found here.