KNIGHTON . POWYS . ST EDWARD
GRADE II † ‘Victorian Gothic rebuilding of earlier church of which the medieval west tower is the only survival- no remains of 1752 Georgian rebuild‘ BLB. A handsome reconstructed church in a pleasant town, well-situated on Offa’s Dyke close to the point where Powys meets Hereford and Shropshire. The only church dedication to St Edward in Wales – he, along with St Richard, seem to be somewhat overlooked across much of Britain. 52.3457 / -3.0477 / SO287724
The double rebuilding of a medieval church (except for its tower) must inevitably have expunged almost all traces of the early building, and with that its church marks. Or so you would think. Yet when I visited the church on a warm September evening in sunshine, I saw what – on a church with a different history – might be taken as a medieval pock dial. I realise that it is most unlikely. However, restoration and rebuilding does not preclude the reuse and / or relocation of stones from the original church. It was a common practice, for obvious reasons.
There is no visible style hole. The curved pocked pattern seems intentional but – absent some architectural or decorative purpose – it is difficult to account for the design. Given the church history, claiming dial status is debatable. However I have seen far less convincing dials elsewhere. The stone fits with the church. Its location on the porch wall – perhaps intentionally during reconstruction – is appropriate. But probably I have an amateur dial collector’s over-optimism. Maybe this sort of find shows how intriguing the analysis of church marks can be.
GSS Category: Scratch Dial
Photos: Keith Salvesen