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Church of St Swithun and attached railings

A Grade I Listed Building in Worcester, Worcestershire

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Latitude: 52.1926 / 52°11'33"N

Longitude: -2.2202 / 2°13'12"W

OS Eastings: 385043

OS Northings: 254950

OS Grid: SO850549

Mapcode National: GBR 1G4.HJ1

Mapcode Global: VH92T.G5M0

Entry Name: Church of St Swithun and attached railings

Listing Date: 22 May 1954

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1063801

English Heritage Legacy ID: 488634

Location: Worcester, Worcestershire, WR1

County: Worcestershire

District: Worcester

Town: Worcester

Electoral Ward/Division: Cathedral

Built-Up Area: Worcester

Traditional County: Worcestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Worcestershire

Church of England Parish: Worcester, St Martin's in the Cornmarket with St Swithun and St Paul

Church of England Diocese: Worcester

Find accommodation in


SO 8554 NW, 620-1/17/154

CHURCH STREET (North side)

Church of St Swithun and attached railings




Parish church, now redundant, and attached railings. 1734-6
with earlier origins, including C15 tower (refaced 1734-6).
Architects: Thomas and Edward Woodward of Chipping Camden.
Limestone ashlar over brick with concealed roof and cast-iron
railings. Classical style with Gothic details. Rectangular on
plan with west tower, six bays.

West tower in four stages, marked
by string courses and with diagonal off-set buttresses; west
entrance has double six-raised-and-fielded-panel door with
carved lintel surmounted by fanlight with Perpendicular-type
glazing in tooled architrave with moulded imposts and cherub's
head carved in keystone. Upper stages have Y-tracery to
2-light windows (leaded lights to first floor, blind above and
louvred to belfry) with chamfered mullions and
triple-chamfered reveals. Nave has fluted full-height Doric
pilasters between bays and round-arched, multi-pane windows
with tooled architraves and keystones. Three-bay east end
articulated by Doric pilasters and with projecting pedimented
bay to centre pierced by an elaborate Ionic-style Venetian
window; clock above parapet set in pediment; outer bays have
panelled doors set below tall windows, all with similar round

INTERIOR: aisleless, having a segmental vault with ribs
springing from corbels each side with crowned and winged
cherub-heads; bosses with Gothic motifs and circlet of
cherub-heads over altar. Chancel divided by screen walls with
raised and fielded panelling and outer 6-panel doors, ramped
up to tall 'plinths' surmounted by Roman Doric columns,
panelling continues as reredos. Similar panelling to north and
south walls approximately 2 metres high. Venetian window to
interior has Ionic columns and cornice with acanthus
modillions. Canted west gallery standing on square fluted
wooden pillars; staircase has 2-panel door. Leaded glass to
windows, except late C19 stained glass to east designed by
FURNISHINGS: wrought-iron altar table; box pews throughout,
panelled; triple-decker pulpit has closed-string winding
stairs, balustrade with fluted columns and tester with
elaborately carved crown and surmounting pelican. Altar rails.
Mayor's chair with scrolled sword rest. Round-arched
door to tower has two raised-and-fielded panels. White marble
font a bowl on stem.
MONUMENTS: a good collection includes those to Edward Milton
d1627; Richard Harris d1684; Martha Trovell d1711; Anna Colles
d1716; Henry Hope, grocer d1753 by Richard Squire of
Worcester; John Clements d1781; Thomas Wakeman d1794 by W
Stephens of Worcester; John Southan d1804. In tower a monument
to Joseph Withers d1741 by CT Withers.
SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: railings and gates to west end have two
levels of rails and spearhead bars, gates have segmental arch.

HISTORICAL NOTE: built on site of C13 church. Made redundant
in 1977. A remarkably complete example of a mid C18 church,
representative in its plan and internal details of both the
C18 established church and civil administration and ritual.
One of an important group of four churches in Worcester which,
in their present form, are largely eighteenth century, with
Church of All Saints, Broad Street; Church of St Martin,
Cornmarket and former Church of St Nicholas, The Cross. Their
towers, together with the Cathedral (qv) and St Andrew's
Tower, Deansway (qv), form the most significant feature of
Worcester's skyline. A key building in this part of the city
centre, forming a focal point for and having good group value
with all the listed buildings in Church Street, St Swithin's
Street and Mealcheapen Street (qqv).

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