Last year our first donation drive was a complete success,
thanks to some wonderful people who helped us gain a security certificate and meet
some of the increasing web hosting costs. This year, that certificate needs to be
renewed and another round of hosting costs need to be supplimented. As the History
Files is a non-profit site it still needs your help. Please click anywhere inside
this box to make a small donation via PayPal so that we can continue to provide
highly detailed historical research on a fully secure site. If every visitor
donated just a penny then we'd cover a year's running costs in a day! Your support
is highly appreciated.
Target for 2019: £0£130
Gallery: Churches of Warwickshire
by Peter Kessler, 28 February 2010
West Warwickshire Part 5: Churches of
Royal 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
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 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 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
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
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 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.