St Michael's Church, Upton Cressett
Attraction in Bridgnorth, Shropshire
The quintessential hidden gem, St. Michael’s Church, Upton Cressets stands next to a magnificent Elizabethan estate overlooking the lush rolling hills of the surrounding countryside. A church of ancient origins, the present structure dates to the time of the Norman Conquest.
The de Upton family lived here at the time of the Conquest and during the 14th century, one of their daughters married into the Cressett family, combining the two. A dazzling Norman doorway decorated with zig zag patterns and floral motifs lies hidden behind an equally stunning 14th century wooden porch. Entering through the Cressett chapel, dating to the 13th century, the visitor immediately sees the fading remains of a medieval wall painting, most likely dating to circa 1200. What remains seems to be of angels and possibly an enthroned king. Most of the interior is Norman, with a few later medieval additions. The charming Norman font is slightly lopsided and decorated with cable moulding and arches topped with what resemble upside down fleur de lis. A medieval addition to the church was a north aisle which is now blocked up, the architectural scars can still be seen on the interior and exterior walls. The church would have had an flourishing congregation in the medieval period, which demanded a larger church, but in later centuries as the congregation dwindled the extra space was no longer needed. None of the medieval stained glass survives, some 17th and 18th century glass was removed from the church when it was derelict and was brought to the nearby Monkhopton church.A treasure definitely worth seeking out, St. Michael’s church Upton Cressett is now cared for by the Churches Conservation Trust.
Did you know: the Cressett family were extremely important in many seminal English events. Hugh and Robert Cressett were active in the Wars of the Roses. In the Civil War in which Edward Cresset sat on the King’s Council of War at Shrewsbury. Another Cressett was tutor to George III and another was Envoy Extraordinary to the court of Hanover during the negotiations for the Hanover succession.
4 miles west of Bridgnorth, off A458 Shrewsbury to Bridgnorth road; Upton Cressett is signed from the main road west of Tasley; follow brown St. Michael's Church tourism signs and fingerpost sign immediately before Upton Cressett Hall.
Tel: 01746 765542
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