WYCHNOR . STAFFS . ST LEONARD
GRADE II* † C12 origins, mainly C14, C17 work / expansion. A hamlet with a fine red sandstone church. Hwiccenofre in Saxon times, Wicenore in DB. Church details BLB. NE of Lichfield near Alrewas, close to R Trent. 52.742 / -1.7394 / SK176160
St Leonard has 3 recorded scratch dials, one of which features here along with an arguable but doubtful dial. The other 2 official dials will be covered in a separate post. The neighbouring village, Alrewas, has a church (All Saints) also with 3 recorded dials. Two are featured HERE. The third will be featured in due course.
Prominent on the easternmost buttress of the aisle with a sizeable style hole (a later enlargement of the original?). Cut on black stone and eroded. 4 (5?) broad lines cut in lower R quadrant; other possible traces. An afternoon dial – perhaps locally the most significant part of the canonical day, marking the Masses sext and none: the 6th (noon) and 9th hours.
BSS additionally notes: 2 pocks in lower R quadrant, & 2 in upper R quadrant at much larger radius. The archive image below shows (lower R quadrant) a terminal pock under the noon line (not uncommon) and another next to it (unusual?). 2 pocks are visible upper R, but whether related to the dial is uncertain.
PLAUSIBLE, DOUBTFUL, OR NOT A DIAL?
Image 1 – the original – displays marks that resemble a relocated and inverted dial. Images 2 & 3 show a 180º rotation and close-up. It looks quite plausible, with apparent dial features including extended noon line, a feasible style hole, some pocks that may be part of the design. Also, the focus is on the lower R quadrant, perhaps reinforcing the ‘afternoon Mass’ suggestion above. But overall not quite right, and doubtful at best.
NOTE The Pilgrim Way Church Trail, 14 miles long, links six churches dated from Saxon to Victorian leading to Lichfield Cathedral following an an ancient path. As the excellent PWCT site explains: you can walk, cycle or drive the trail and the three booklets give clear instructions and helpful photographs
GSS Category: Scratch Dial
Photo credits: Erika Clarkson – dial images; Peter Ralley – header image of St Leonard’s; BSS archive