St. Eata’s Church, Atcham

An original Saxon church stood on this site from the 8th century dates but the current building dates to the 11th Century.

The church is said to have been built in the 8th Century although this sign states 11th

It is the most perfectly situated, beautiful church I have visited. Nestled on a wide bend on the banks of the Severn, this peaceful spot has a sense of the ancient about it and had a really magical atmosphere as the sun set over the horizon casting the river and the church in the most surreal, winter sunlight. It was a scene of complete serenity.

Complete serenity – the view from the front of the church looking south down the river Severn.

The church’s dedication to Eata of Hexham is unique.

Outside of the Priest’s door, to the right where the archers sharpened their arrows
Arrow sharpening practice

The church is constructed in red and grey sandstone and incorporates some large blocks of stone from the Roman city of Wroxeter a couple of miles away. The church is Grade I listed.

South Doorway added in the 13th century and the porch added or repaired in 1665. Ancient grave stones sit to the right of the porch
South side of the church, gargoyles can be seen on the tower. The large Yewtree relates to the planting of yew trees in churchyards in the days of the long bow to protect them from thieves, too superstitious to steal from a churchyard
Norman entrance

The oldest part of the present church is in the nave and dates from the late Saxon or the early Norman era – the front entrance is distinctly Norman in style. The tower is from the 12th century, and the chancel from the late 13th century. The south porch is dated 1665. The church was restored in the late 19th century.

View of the church from the old Atcham bridge (1769) over the river Severn
Archway of the south door, date above 1685

There are some ancient Saxon tombstone slabs outside the south porch which probably date to around the 11th or 12th Centuries.

Inside the Saxon nave
North view of the church. The small opening in the centre is a Saxon window

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