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Churches of the British Isles

Gallery: Churches of Warwickshire

by Peter Kessler, 28 February 2010

West Warwickshire Part 11: Churches of Baddesley Clinton to Lapworth

St Francis of Assisi Catholic Church

St Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, Baddesley Clinton, lies on the eastern side of Rising Lane at the southern end of the village. Prior to the Reformation, Catholics worshipped at St Michael's Church, and Franciscan monks who were based at the manor house from the mid-1600s set up their own permanent chapel after 1760. In 1785 a Franciscan school moved here and new buildings were erected in 1793 on the present site, The chapel was added in 1800.

St Giles

St Giles, Packwood, is at the eastern edge of Packwood Hall, half a kilometre south-west of the hamlet of Packwood. Its nave and chancel date back to the late 1200s, which seems to be the earliest reference for the church, making it the second to have been founded within the civil parish of Lapworth. Notable later additions included the tower, known locally as 'The Tower of the Atonement', a reference to the fifteenth century lord of the manor, Nicholas Brome.

St Giles

Lord Brome returned home unexpectedly to find the parish priest 'chockinge his wife under ye chinne', and slew him on the spot. As penance, after pardons from the pope and king, he built towers to the churches of Packwood and Baddesley Clinton. In 1704 the brick-built transept was added as the Fetherston Chapel for the family of that name from Packwood House, and two years later the parents of Dr Samuel Johnson were married in the church.

The Church of St Mary the Virgin

The Church of St Mary the Virgin, Lapworth, is in the eastern crook of Church Lane in this hamlet, about a mile from the main congregation in Kingswood. The parish is held in plurality with the that of Baddesley Clinton four miles to the east. The original church on the site dates from the 900s, when a Saxon wattle and wood building stood where the present nave is located. This was replaced around 1100 by a small Norman stone building which took in the present chancel.

The Church of St Mary the Virgin

The building of the highly interesting replacement church building began in the twelfth century. That initial building work continued over the subsequent three centuries, providing a church that looks essentially fifteenth century in appearance, and one which could seat about 180 in the nave. The church is now a Grade I listed building, and the organ, a Nicholson three manual that was bought and completely rebuilt with additions in 1998, is particularly fine.

All photos on this page kindly contributed by Aidan McRae Thomson.



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