The House Of Moreton

The heritage of many British villages often comes to be defined through the centuries by the house of one particular family. None more so than at Moreton Corbet in Shropshire, England. Here at St Bartholomew Chapel, the nave and chancel originated in the late Norman period, and there is infact a list of rectors of this church unbroken since the year 1300, proving that christians have been worshipping here for more than 700 years. To think I have visited churches to have lasted just a fraction of that time that are now merely crumbled and overgrown ruins makes the achievement of keeping this place so ornate even more impressive. Much of its preservation has been down to its continued links to the Corbet family of the surrounding estate, with chest tombs of members of the family still dominating much of the interior. Over more than six centuries their power and wealth was inflicted upon the chapel in the form of extravagantly personal interior donations and upgrades. A shining golden canopy above the central stained glass window of St Bartholomew himself boasts a canopy of heraldic shields, and in the 1700's a squire's pew" was added - this three-sided room off the south aisle had a fireplace to keep the grandees warm, with cushions and curtains which they could pull across so that they wouldn't have to gaze upon/smell the commoners of the village - typical of behaviour within the classes of rural religious communities for many centuries. Extravagance such as this has resulted in an interior that would rival that of any surviving example around the world, no doubt earning its prestigious Grade I listing as a scheduled monument, becoming something of a museum for a family who still own the castle that defines the landscape of this village despite standing in ruin since since the 18th century. This small but brilliantly preserved corner of the country is a true example of the very best of English Heritage's work and why it's so important to support their efforts through the generations.