St. James stands above the village and, with the ruined castle, dominates the village and surroundings of Wigmore.
Initially founded as a collegiate church by the powerful Mortimer family in the 12th Century, St James lies on the site of an earlier Saxon building. The original 'herringbone' masonry is still visible on walls both internally and externally, and has been dated circa 1050. Structurally important, the listed Grade I building has a very early Norman nave, but successive alterations have taken place in most centuries since. Very rare, inside is a piscina high on the south wall by the chancel arch, a legacy of the original rood loft which, unusually, must have had an altar on it.
Outside, the churchyard cross is much restored, standing on a 14th century base, with an ogee-headed niche. This feature is found in a number of churches along The Marches.
Information panels throughout the church will direct you to items of major interest.
A guided tour of the 14th century tower, to include the bell-ringing chamber and rooftop views,can be made available during the summer months. Why not combine this with a walk to the nearby castle ruins ...
Places on each tour will be limited for safety reasons, to book,
PHONE: 01568 770150 9:30 - 5:30 weekdays only.
For Sunday services go to http://www.wigmore-abbey.org.uk/
A Heritage Lottery Fund grant is currently being used to explore the possibility of re-ordering the premises to become an information centre for the historic area, and to provide a community resource. Check www.wigmore-abbey.org.uk for progress information.