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Modern Britain

Gallery: Churches of Warwickshire

by Peter Kessler, 28 February 2010

 

 

West Warwickshire Part 3: Churches of Warwick

Warwick Unitarian Chapel

Warwick Unitarian Chapel is on the eastern side of the High Street, almost opposite Brook Street. After 1688 the Independent church seems to have died out in Warwick, and its members may have joined the Presbyterians who were establishing themselves, meeting at a location in the town which does not appear to have been registered. Both congregations moved to a converted house near the castle, although this was absorbed into the castle grounds in 1780.

Warwick Unitarian Chapel

The congregation, which was Unitarian from the mid-eighteenth century, received the present site in exchange for the loss of their old meeting house, and a sizable Gothic chapel with gable-ends of stone ashlar was built and registered in 1781. Its congregation was Unitarian from the mid-eighteenth century, apparently following the doctrines of James Kettle, minister between 1746-1885. They enlarged the chapel in 1863 and it remains in use today.

St James Westgate

St James Westgate is at the southern end of the High Street, at the junction with Bowling Green Street. The Chantry Chapel of St James was built in 1126 by Roger de Newburgh, second Norman earl of Warwick. In the late fourteenth century it was rebuilt over the Westgate by the twelfth earl of Warwick and granted to the newly-created Guild of St George. Living quarters and various halls were added to the chapel after the guild was united to another of its kind.

St James Westgate

The United Guilds were dispersed by Henry VIII in 1546, but they were able to save their property from seizure after their master had it transferred to the burgesses of Warwick (the town council). In 1571, Robert Dudley, earl of Leycester (Leicester) acquired the buildings and, under charter from Elizabeth I, founded the Leycester Hospital for aged or disabled soldiers and their wives. The hospital corporation was abolished in 1956, but restored on 3 November 1966.

All photos on this page contributed by Aidan McRae Thomson.

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