Rock, near Kidderminster, is a fine church of Norman origin which holds some of the best remaining examples of the Herefordshire school of carving. It was built around 1150 by Roger de Tosny, the grandson of Ralph of Normandy who was standard-bearer to William the Conqueror at Hastings.
The nave and chancel are Norman but the south aisle and tower date from 1510. Restorations were carried out in 1861, 1881 and early in c20. The construction is of stone blocks (“ashlar”).
The nave is punctuated by double window spaces. Of each pair, one is a window and the other “blind”. This unique configuration is purely decorative, although its attractiveness is at best open to question!
The north doorway is the principal one. Rather disappointingly, the tympanum is plain, possibly originally painted. There are several orders of decoration, but no beakheads, zodiac symbols or the like. The capitals have grotesque masks. There was probably a Norman south door as well, but all that remains are various decorative items incorporated into the body of the church.
It is the chancel arches that are the real glory of this church. The capitals are adorned with fantastic figures from legend and the “Bestiary” of the time.
The font too is c12 Norman with attractive stylised “flower petal” motifs. It