St Peter, Adderley, Shropshire

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Feature Sets (2)


Cruciform church mainly of 1801, with a 17thc. N transept and 18thc. tower. The only Romanesque feature is the late 11thc. to early 12thc. font which is located to the to left of the S doorway.


At the time of DS, Adderley, along with Shavington, Spoonley and Calverhall, were held by Nigel, a clerk and physician, of Earl Roger de Montgomery. On Nigel's death Earl Roger took over his estates, but they were later forfeited to the crown. Later, Henry I gave Adderley to Alan de Dunstanvill.





The font is in the shape of a large cushion capital with thick plain necking. It has a columnar base, probably also medieval. The bowl is of (?)Grinshill stone. There is a Latin inscription at the top of each of the four faces.

E face: two spirals curving upwards and, respectively, to L and R. A thin double leaf emerges from the point where the two spirals converge, both above and below the meeting point of the two spirals. Chisel marks are visible on the surface.

S face: interlace ornament consisting of four intertwining tendrils that turn into spiral terminations.

W face: two spirals curving upwards and, respectively, to L and R. A triangle, its apex facing downwards, is carved below the line separating the inscription and the carving on this face and above the section where the two spirals meet. A triangle, standing on its long side, is carved at the lower rim of the capital underneath the area where the two spirals meet.

N face: a Maltese cross in a circle. One scalloped triangular leaf, its apex pointing downwards, in top L and top R of face.

h. of bowl, with necking 0.52 m
h. of bowl, without necking 0.41 m
h. of entire font 1.05 m
max. w. E face 0.82 m
max. w. N face 0.62 m
max. w. S face 0.63 m
max. w. W face 0.82 m
Latin Inscription

E face: [a cross] HIC MALE PRIMV


W face: [T]VR CUM C[O]



The inscription on the font: 'Hic male primus homo fruitur cum coniuge pomo' is translated in Pevsner as 'Here wickedly the first man enjoyed the apple with his wife' (Newman et al 2006, 99). Pevsner and Eyton comment on the oddity of the inscription in relation to a font (Eyton 1860, 5-6).


  • J. C. Anderson,Shropshire: Its Early History and Antiquities. 1864, 400.

  • D. H. S. Cranage, An Architectural Account of the Churches of Shropshire, 8, 1906, 662-666.

  • R. W. Eyton, The Antiquities of Shropshire, X, 1860, 5-6.

  • J. Newman and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Shropshire. Yale University Press: New Haven and London, 2006, 99-100.

  • N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Shropshire. Harmondsworth: Middlesex, 1958, 53.


Site Location
National Grid Reference
SJ 661 395 
now: Shropshire
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Shropshire
now: Lichfield
medieval: Lichfield (to 1075); Chester (to c.1086); Coventry and Lichfield (to 1541)
medieval: St Peter
now: St Peter (pre-Reformation)
Type of building/monument
Parish church  
Report authors
Barbara Zeitler 
Visit Date
26 August 1999