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Modern Britain

Gallery: Churches of Warwickshire

by Peter Kessler, 28 February 2010

 

 

West Warwickshire Part 5: Churches of Royal Leamington Spa

All Saints, Leamington Spa

All Saints is the oldest parish church in Leamington Spa. It stands on the eastern side of Bath Street, opposite Avenue Road, a little way below the banks of the River Leam. A 1783 plan shows that the whole of the village with its church and the original well nearby, a mill, two inns, the stocks and pound, stood on the south bank of the Leam. By 1818 it had grown considerably, the main streets being the present Bath Street, Clemens Street, and High Street.

All Saints, Leamington Spa

The church began as a small building, consisting of chancel and nave, apparently in the thirteenth century, with a west tower added in the fourteenth century. This was successively enlarged in 1816, 1824, 1829, 1832, and 1834 as the village swiftly grew into a large town. A complete rebuild of the church began in 1843 and was completed in the early twentieth century by the lengthening of the nave and the erection of a west tower, adding a ring of eight bells.

Leamington Spa Mission

Leamington Spa Mission stands on the north-eastern corner of George Street and Russell Terrace in Leamington Spa. The revived Catholic ministry started in a small chapel here, and in 1826 they built the present George Street Chapel to cater for the increasing number of Catholic visitors. This was used until St Peter the Apostle was opened in Dormer Place in 1864. The chapel then became home to the Apostolic Catholics and from 1993 the Seventh-Day Adventists.

Trinity Methodist Church

Trinity Methodist Church is on the northern side of Radford Road, close to Forfield Place. It began as an offshoot of the Court Street Chapel in around 1872 when demand arose for a place of worship south of the river. There were problems with the steeple, so it was lowered for safety reasons, and is now a stub. In 1992, the Methodists and Spencer Street United Reformed Church joined together at this site. Extensive work was subsequently carried out on the church.

St Mary's Church

St Mary's Church is on the eastern side of St Mary's Road, opposite St Mary's Crescent. It was built in 1839 to serve the first of the town's new parishes which was constituted in 1840, although it retained chapel status until 1877. Construction was carried out in brick which was later cemented over, in the Decorated style, and consists of chancel, aisled nave, and an embattled west tower which has on a porch on either side containing stairs to the galleries.

St Mary's Church

The church was erected on open fields, donated by Edward Willes, and was known sarcastically as 'St Mary's in the Fields'. It was possibly intended to be a catalyst for the creation of a small 'village' development just outside the then village of Leamington Priors, and many villas were put up around it. Behind the church is a former tin tabernacle, perhaps the last of the town's 'iron churches', and nearby is St Mary's schoolroom (shown here), used for some services.

Court Street Methodist Chapel

Court Street Methodist Chapel is on the western side of Court Street, opposite Cumming Street and is overlooked by the railway viaduct. It seems to have its roots as a school house for Althorpe Street Methodist Church, one street to the west, which it supplemented in 1871. Trinity Church was an offshoot created at about the same time. Court Street was apparently used by the military during the war, and then as a tyre depot in the 1990s, but it is now empty.

All photos on this page kindly released for republication by Bath Place.

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