The Shirley Association has been a member of the Guild of One-Name Studies since 1988
  Breedon on Hill
Derbyshire

 

 

 

   
 

Breedon-On-The-Hill Church (St. Mary and St. Hardulph)

The hill, a limestone outcrop, is a prominent landmark in the surrounding countryside and the church can be seen from many miles away. In the late Iron Age (roughly 600 BC to the Roman conquest) it was a defended settlement, traces remaining of the surrounding bank. The workings of a large quarry on the east side extend almost up to the churchyard.


A Saxon Monastery was established on the top of the hill in the late 7th century. In the early 12th century this was replaced by an Augustinian priory to which a parochial nave was added a little later. The following century saw a new chancel added to the east of the tower and with the tower forms the present church. From the Saxon period there remains a remarkable series, probably of the late 8th century, of Saxon stone figure sculptures stone figure sculptures and sculptured friezes. There are many Shirley monuments of various dates and a large enclosed Shirley family pew dated 1627. This is the family name of the subsequently ennobled Earls Ferrers.

   


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