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Roman Catholic Church of St Mary

A Grade II Listed Building in Brewood, Staffordshire

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Latitude: 52.6776 / 52°40'39"N

Longitude: -2.1798 / 2°10'47"W

OS Eastings: 387941

OS Northings: 308887

OS Grid: SJ879088

Mapcode National: GBR 18D.1QM

Mapcode Global: WHBFC.HY7P

Entry Name: Roman Catholic Church of St Mary

Listing Date: 30 October 1974

Last Amended: 9 February 2016

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1039334

English Heritage Legacy ID: 271364

Location: Brewood and Coven, South Staffordshire, Staffordshire, ST19

County: Staffordshire

District: South Staffordshire

Civil Parish: Brewood and Coven

Built-Up Area: Brewood

Traditional County: Staffordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Staffordshire

Church of England Parish: Brewood St Mary and St Chad

Church of England Diocese: Lichfield

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Roman Catholic church of 1843-44, by A W N Pugin in an C13 pointed style.


Roman Catholic church of 1843-44, by A W N Pugin in an C13 pointed style.

MATERIALS: constructed of cut and squared local sandstone under slate roofs.

PLAN: it consists of an aisled nave of five bays, a chancel with flanking chapels, sacristy to the north, a west tower with small spire and a south porch.

EXTERIOR: there is a break in the roof between the nave and aisles and the chancel has a lower roof; all with coped verges, triangular kneelers and cross finials. The fairly plain tower is of two stages with a low window of three lights and trefoil to the west wall and belfry windows of two lights on each face of the upper stage. The broach spire has two tiers of lucarnes in alternate faces and is topped by a finial with a weathervane. The south porch has a gabled roof, short angled buttresses and an entrance with moulded, two-centred surround. The aisles have windows of two lights with cusped, ogee heads and tracery. There is a doorway at the east end of the south aisle. The east chancel window is of three lights with decorated tracery and there is a small quatrefoil in the gable apex of the nave. The projecting vestry to the north has a large stack with a cowl.

INTERIOR: the nave has a pointed arcade with octagonal piers of exposed sandstone, and principal rafters rising from stone corbels. The aisles are low with simple lean-to roofs. The south chapel, now the baptistery, has an external door and, unusually for a C19 church, a squint, suggesting it was probably designed as a family chapel. The Lady Chapel in the north aisle has been embellished with alabaster and marble fixtures and surfaces at an unknown date, possibly in the 1920s when other works were executed, such as the introduction of the organ and several of the stained glass windows. The chancel has an elaborate scissor-braced roof. Both the nave and chancel roofs display stencilled schemes, though it is unclear whether these are original. Small areas of stencilling on the south wall and on the window jamb of the chancel have been preserved and may reflect an original or early scheme. FURNISHINGS: the high altar is very simple with deeply inset quatrefoils; the reredos also has quatrefoils; and in the south chancel wall is a single stone sedile with a cusped head linked to a piscina. The original font is a large bowl of simple design, probably from the Myers workshop. The bench seating appears to be of mid-C20 date, and the tiled floors in the Lady Chapel and chancel are possibly by Minton. The stained glass is largely early C20, by Hardman of Birmingham, including a First World War memorial west window. Of the three windows given to the church by Pugin, either to his design or by Wailes (Pevsner, see Sources), only one light, now in the Lady Chapel window, seems to survive. There are two memorials in the chancel floor, both designed by Pugin and made by Hardman; a memorial to the Whitgreave family, also by Hardman, is in the north aisle wall near the Lady Chapel. Statuary includes a Crucifix beneath a canopy in the south chapel said to have come from the Black Ladies convent and a Virgin and Child in the Lady Chapel said to be of C17 date and the gift of Pugin.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURE: a stone pillar piscina, possibly C12, stands outside the south porch and is said to have come from White Ladies, Boscobel in Shropshire.

This List entry has been amended to add sources for War Memorials Online and the War Memorials Register. These sources were not used in the compilation of this List entry but are added here as a guide for further reading, 21 August 2017.


The Giffard family of Chilllington Hall near Brewood were prominent recusants and patrons of historic Catholic missions at Longbirch and Black Ladies. By the 1840s these recusant chapels were too small for the growing population of Roman Catholics and so a site in Brewood was chosen for a new church dedicated to St Mary. The Giffard family were the patrons, providing the land and also paying the upkeep of the early parish priests. The church was designed by A W N Pugin (1812–52) and built by George Myers as part of a group with a presbytery, schoolroom and school (all Grade II). The generous site allowed Pugin to build the group in a picturesque arrangement which he felt reflected medieval precedent. The church cost £1,345 and was consecrated in June 1844. It was redecorated in 1887 when the stone altar was placed in the Lady Chapel. During the C20 the rood, altar rails and other items were removed, and a forward altar was introduced after the Second Vatican Council. Possibly at the same time the baptistery at the west end of the south aisle was altered, the font was moved to the east end of the aisle and a timber-panelled confessional was installed in the former baptistery.

Reasons for Listing

The Church of St Mary, Brewood, which was built in 1843-44 and designed by A W Pugin, is listed at grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: as a well-executed church in a C13 style with good detailing and use of materials;
* Architect: Augustus Welby Pugin (1812-52) is a nationally-important architect, well-known for his ecclesiastical work;
* Interior: it includes a good compliment of fixtures and fittings, principally of mid-C19 to early-C20 date, including work by Hardman of Birmingham and the Meyers workshop;
* Group value: it forms a strong group with the presbytery, schoolroom and school, as well as lychgate and churchyard walls, which are all listed at Grade II.

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