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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

Plus Code: 9C4V5QVH+2W

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: Cathedral, Worcester, Worcestershire, WR1

County: Worcestershire

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

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SO 8554 NW

CHURCH STREET (North side)
Church of St Swithun and attached railings


Parish church, now redundant, and attached railings. 1734-36 with earlier origins, including C15 tower (refaced 1734-36). 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 two-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 arches.

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 six-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 two-panel door. Leaded glass to windows, except late C19 stained glass to east designed by Eginton.

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 d.1627; Richard Harris d.1684; Martha Trovell d.1711; Anna Colles d.1716; Henry Hope, grocer d.1753 by Richard Squire of Worcester; John Clements d.1781; Thomas Wakeman d.1794 by W Stephens of Worcester; John Southan d.1804. In tower a monument to Joseph Withers d.1741 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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