A History of the County of Warwick: Volume 8, the City of Coventry and Borough of Warwick. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1969.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
THE mother church of Warwick in early times seems to have been All Saints', within the castle precincts. Certainly c. 1123 the bishop ordered that St. Sepulchre's Priory should pay 2s. 6d. a year to All Saints', in lieu of tithes and other dues, because it was the mother church. (fn. 1) In 1123, however, Roger de Beaumont, Earl of Warwick, completed the foundation planned and begun by his father of a college at St. Mary's and the church of All Saints was united with it. The college was at the same time granted seven other Warwick churches - St. Nicholas's, St. Lawrence's, St. Michael's, St. Sepulchre's, St. Helen's, St. John's, and St. Peter's. Roger, who died in 1153, later added to these endowments the chapel of St. James and Myton Chapel. (fn. 2) Roger did not indicate the precise meaning of his gift and the churches were subsequently only partly dependent on St. Mary's, in an association which in the later 14th century was called the 'Antiqua Unio'. Each church had its own rector and kept the rectorial tithes, but gave part of its income to St. Mary's. The college also held the advowsons, with the exception of that of St. James's. Roger's grant of St. Sepulchre's was no doubt opposed by the priory whose church it was, and when the Bishop of Worcester confirmed Roger's gifts in 1128-9 St. Sepulchre's was not included. (fn. 3) St. Helen's, which had stood on the site of the priory and was presumably replaced by St. Sepulchre's, is not mentioned again.
The college strengthened its rights in 1367 when the bishop ordered that the churches of St. John, St. Michael, St. Lawrence, St. Peter, and St. James - mostly in a ruinous condition or lacking churchyards - need no longer be repaired; their parishioners were instructed to attend St. Mary's and all burial grounds were to be closed except those of St. Mary's and St. Nicholas's. By 1398 the profits of St. Nicholas's, St. Peter's, and St. Lawrence's were being withheld on the grounds that the order of 1367 did not extend to the successors of the then dean and canons, and their appropriation to St. Mary's was therefore confirmed. (fn. 4) Final appropriation took place after the surrender or death of the rector of each church. Pensions for loss of rights were arranged to be paid by St. Mary's to the Bishop, Prior and Convent, and Archdeacon of Worcester. (fn. 5) The former churches of St. Peter, St. John, St. Lawrence, St. Michael, and St. James gave their names to five of the six chief prebends in the college.
Thus by the end of the 14th century the town was divided between the two parish churches of St. Mary and, subordinate to it, St. Nicholas. These were sometimes called, with reference to their situations, the High Church and the Low Church. The parish of St. Mary included the walled town and the land to the west, that of St. Nicholas the land to the north and east and on the south side of the River Avon. One medieval institution, the chantry chapel at Guy's Cliffe in St. Nicholas's parish, remained independent of the two chief churches. Additional churches were not needed until the population of Warwick increased in the 19th century: the district chapelry of St. Paul was formed in 1844 and that of All Saints in 1861. (fn. 6) In the account which follows, the churches of St. Mary and St. Nicholas are described first, followed by the smaller medieval churches, Guy's Cliffe Chapel, and, finally, the two modern churches.
ST. MARY. (fn. 7) The church of St. Mary is first mentioned in 1086 when it had land in Myton. (fn. 8) Its history as a collegiate church is described elsewhere (fn. 9) but little is known of the way the parish was served. The dean was parson of the parish church, but there was also a parochial chaplain who in 1465 had an altar for parish use and a chapel, perhaps in one of the aisles. (fn. 10) In the 15th century and in 1535 the parochial chaplain received £6 13s. 4d. a year. (fn. 11) The college was dissolved in 1544 (fn. 12) and some of its property, including the churches of St. Mary and St. Nicholas, was granted to the corporation in the following year, the Crown appointing vicars. (fn. 13) The Guild of Warwick, shortly before its own dissolution, sold property and with the proceeds obtained this grant of the church for the town. (fn. 14) The property of the college became known as King Henry VIII's Estate and was for long the chief source of corporation income. The parish clergy were paid by the corporation until 1835 and thereafter by the trustees of the estate.
The deans of St. Mary's College were presented by the earls of Warwick. (fn. 15) The grant of the college to the corporation in 1545 included the rectory and advowson but it nevertheless reserved to the Crown the presentation of vicars to the parish church, (fn. 16) and the king appointed the first vicar in that year. (fn. 17) In 1558 the advowson was granted by the Crown to the Bishop of Worcester (fn. 18) and he presented in the same year. (fn. 19) The Earl of Warwick presented in 1567, 1572, 1573, and 1589, (fn. 20) and the corporation in 1590. (fn. 21) Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, and in 1815, the patronage was exercised by the Crown. (fn. 22) The corporation was said to be the patron in 1835 (fn. 23) but thereafter the Crown has presented through the Lord Chancellor. (fn. 24)
The church was valued at £20 in 1340. (fn. 25) The college received £25 6s. 9¾d. from it in 1461-2 (fn. 26) and £16 11s. 9d. from the farm of the rectory in 1535. (fn. 27) The grant of the college to the corporation in 1545 (fn. 28) specified the payments which were to be made to the church: the vicar was to receive a stipend of £20, together with £2 for tenths, and was to have a parsonage house provided; stipends were to be paid to two chaplains, a clerk, and a sacrist. (fn. 29) The chaplains, or 'assistants', received £5 10s. and £5 6s. 8d. in 1580; (fn. 30) later there was only one assistant. The vicar's stipend was increased from £60 in 1633 (fn. 31) to £135 in 1779, (fn. 32) and £280 in 1838. (fn. 33) The assistant's stipend rose from £20 in 1633 (fn. 34) to £120 in 1838. (fn. 35) The stipends of the clerk and the sexton were similarly increased. (fn. 36) The average income of the vicarage in 1829-31 was £300. (fn. 37) In 1961-2 the net income was £985. (fn. 38)
Little is known of the tithes of St. Mary's before the Dissolution, although during the 15th century some of them were certainly let. (fn. 39) Tithes and rents of parish property subsequently formed part of the town's revenues from King Henry VIII's Estate. A Crown lease of the tithes in 1544 (fn. 40) was presumably nullified by the grant of St. Mary's to the corporation in the following year. In 1570 all the tithes in Warwick, together with the fees from St. Mary's Church, were leased to John Fisher for 21 years for £20 a year. In 1571, however, he agreed to surrender the lease for the benefit of the town as soon as the payment of a composition for the tithes of herbage in 'the lands disparked' in Wedgnock Park had been settled; the tenants had promised to pay '8d. for every 6s. 8d.' (fn. 41) The churchyard, charnel house, and a 'little house' there were leased in 1570. (fn. 42) In 1580 the corporation's receipts included £13 6s. for 'tithings' collected in the parish at Easter; £1 13s. 8d. for church fees; £3 6s. 8d. for tithes of corn and hay in Longbridge, and £1 for tithes of wool and lambs there; £1 for the herbage of Lee Field, 13s. 4d. for that of certain marshes, £5 5s. 3d. for that of grounds in the park, and 5s. for that of the churchyard; 6s. 8d. for the rent of St. Lawrence's tithe barn and close; 14s. 2d. for tithes of pigs, eggs, and fruit; and £2 15s. 2d. for other herbage and tithes in the parish. (fn. 43) The Longbridge tithes were in 1617 let for 23 years at £5 a year; there were then still two years to run of a lease from St. Mary's College. (fn. 44) In 1710 the corporation was disputing with the owner the payment of tithes on closes called Upper and Lower Fryers. (fn. 45) In 1826-7 the total receipts from tithes, including those in St. Nicholas's, was £226 16s. (fn. 46) At commutation in 1848 the 1,534 acres of Wedgnock Park were tithe-free by the annual gift of 4 deer; the 159 acres of the Priory lands were tithe-free by the payment of a modus of £1 5s. 6d.; and the 53 acres of Longbridge Meadow were free of tithe hay, but the trustees of King Henry VIII's Estate had the use of 5 acres of the meadow. The tithes of the remaining 1,159 acres were commuted for £305, and the trustees were still to enjoy the 5 acres of meadow. (fn. 47)
Nothing is known of any glebe land. The parsonage house was provided and maintained by the corporation. In 1585 it was described as of three bays. (fn. 48) In 1826-7 the rent of a house given by John Fisher before 1580 was said to be used towards its maintenance. (fn. 49) The vicarage stood at the corner of Old Square, near the church, and was burnt in the fire of 1694; it was rebuilt on that site in 1697-8, (fn. 50) and in 1714 was described as of four bays. (fn. 51) The building was later considered incommodious and in 1768 was exchanged for the Deanery, adjoining the churchyard. (fn. 52) Its upkeep has since 1835 been the responsibility of the trustees of King Henry VIII's Estate. The former vicarage in Old Square, which has Corinthian pilasters to the angles and doorway, was refaced with cement in the mid 19th century.
In 1383 the newly-formed Guild of the Holy Trinity and St. Mary in St. Mary's was licensed to acquire property worth £20 a year in order to maintain three chaplains there. (fn. 53) This guild was subsequently joined with that of St. George (fn. 54) and the united guild maintained five chaplains, (fn. 55) three presumably still in St. Mary's. In 1545, when its total income was £33 1s. 4d., it kept four chaplains, two of them in St. Mary's; each received a stipend of £5 6s. 8d. (fn. 56) A second chantry was founded in 1401 when a rent of £5 4s. 4d. a year was granted to maintain a chaplain to celebrate at the altar of St. Anne in St. Mary's Church. (fn. 57) The altar dedicated to the Holy Trinity was possibly in the north aisle, that of St. Anne probably in the north transept. There were many other altars besides the high altar, and that for parochial use which stood by the low rood. The earliest reference to one is from the 13th century, probably before 1250; this was dedicated to St. Katherine and St. Margaret. By 1295 there was an altar dedicated to the Virgin, and by about 1330 a Lady Chapel, probably in the south transept. In 1465 'my Lord's altar' stood before the high rood. Other altars stood in the dean's chapel, between the choir and the Beauchamp Chapel, in the vestry, and in the sacristy. There were at least five nave altars, besides those used by the guilds: these commemorated the saints of the churches in Warwick united with St. Mary's. (fn. 58) Several obits were also established in the church. (fn. 59)
The vicar was at first assisted by two chaplains, as directed by the grant of 1545, but by 1638 there was only one. One curate has subsequently been the rule (fn. 60) up to the present day (fn. 61) but in 1900 there was also an assistant curate. (fn. 62) The assistantship has occasionally been combined with other posts: thus for several years around 1590 Thomas Hall (later vicar) was both assistant and master at the grammar school (fn. 63) and in 1696-1706 one man was assistant, schoolmaster, and usher at the school. In 1706-14 the vicar also held the assistantship. (fn. 64) The assistant was apparently appointed by the corporation, which upheld its right to do so against the vicar in 1690. (fn. 65) The appointment was again in dispute between them in the 1720s. (fn. 66)
An incident in 1536 may suggest resistance at St. Mary's to the king's efforts to decrease the number of church holidays. John Watwode, clerk, king's chaplain, was imprisoned on the information of the curate at St. Nicholas's that he had rung the bells of St. Mary's on St. Lawrence's Day. Watwode replied that this had been done not to call people to church but because of the solemnity of the feast, St. Lawrence being the name of one of the prebends in the church, and he had not intended to break the king's injunctions. (fn. 67) Some indication of the changes wrought in the church after the Reformation is given in the corporation accounts. In 1549 service books in English were provided and the 'paschall standard' removed, and in 1550 the box which had contained the pyx and the iron, stone, and timber from the high altar and Our Lady's altar were all sold. Under Mary, however, the timber of the high altar was in 1554-5 re-purchased and the altar remade, and various books, a pyx, a Lenten cross, and a painting were among other things bought. In 1558-9 the high altar was once again taken down. (fn. 68)
A sign of Puritanism in the parish was the replacement in 1633 by the bishop of Thomas Hall's curate, a Mr. Mackarnes, by a Mr. Spencer who was described as 'a painful and conformable preacher'. (fn. 69) Richard Vennour (vicar, 1639-62) signed the Warwickshire Ministers' Testimony in 1648, (fn. 70) and in 1657 approval was given to the augmentation of his stipend by £30 as suggested by the Trustees for Maintenance of Ministers. (fn. 71) William Eades (vicar, 1687-1706) apparently had Catholic leanings, being alleged to have laid a stone in a new popish chapel in 1687. The corporation opposed him and resolved to pay only the stipend authorised in 1545; Eades demanded the full £100 a year as vicar and master at the grammar school, and he refused to have an assistant appointed by the corporation. Eventually, in 1690, the corporation agreed to pay him £65 a year and Eades gave up his demand to appoint the assistant. (fn. 72) William Greenwood (vicar, 1724-39) was Vicar of St. Nicholas's as well as of St. Mary's. (fn. 73) It has been suggested that several of the 18thcentury incumbents of both churches may have also been chaplains to the earls of Warwick or may have owed their appointment to their influence. Charles Bean, Vicar of St. Mary's from 1750 to 1766, for example, was a supporter of the Whig and castle interest and was in effect the earl's political agent. (fn. 74)
The church estate had an endowment of two houses, one in Church Street, given before the fire of 1694 and rebuilt after being burnt, and one in West Street, known as the Mermaid Inn in the early 19th century. In 1826-7 they were let for £15, (fn. 75) and in 1878 the average gross rent was £50 a year. These were sold in 1880 and the proceeds invested in £1,057 stock. (fn. 76) In 1908 George Grove of Leamington devised to the vicars of St. Mary's the small mission room which he had built adjoining his works in Foundry Road, in the Cape district of the town. After the Second World War it was used as a Sunday school, then for social activities, and finally was let as offices. In 1953, when the income was £45 and £121 was in hand, £24 was allotted to the Church Army for mission work in the district. (fn. 77) In 1911 property lying between Chapel Street and the Butts was bought for use as parish rooms. (fn. 78)
The church of ST. MARY consists of aisled nave, north and south transepts, choir, and west tower. (fn. 79) On the north side of the choir is the choir vestry, continued eastwards as the priests' vestry. On the north side of the choir vestry is the chapter house, and above the two vestries is the sacristan's room, part of which is now used as an organ chamber. To the south of the choir is the Lady Chapel, usually called the Beauchamp Chapel. Between the choir and the Beauchamp Chapel is a narrow space containing an altar, the dedication of which is unknown. A crypt lies beneath the choir and the rooms to the north of it. The whole of the church is constructed of a grey-brown sandstone; most of it was obtained locally, much from the priory and some from the churchyard itself. The nave, aisles, transepts, and tower were all rebuilt after their destruction in the fire of 1694. All the roofs are covered with lead but only that on the Beauchamp Chapel is original.
The older part of the crypt is Norman work, and is all that remains of the building erected when Roger de Newburgh, Earl of Warwick, completed the foundation of the collegiate church in 1123. The position of the original eastern wall is indicated by a 14th-century octagonal column, and the floor above is carried by simple cross-ribbed vaulting on massive piers with scalloped capitals. North of the western end of the crypt is a wing of the same date; at one time it must have extended further to the north but was partially removed when the vestry above was built. On the east side of this wing is a chamber converted into a burial vault for the earls of Warwick in 1769; in medieval times it was the warming house and was approached by a porch which had its outer door close to the chapter house. The existence of the northern wing suggests that there was originally a north transept in this position, but there is no evidence of a corresponding south transept.
Thomas Beauchamp I, Earl of Warwick (d. 1369), began the rebuilding of the choir. Work in the crypt shows that his building was to be several feet wider and one bay longer than the old. There are two two-light windows of this period at the east end of the crypt; there was formerly a similar one on the north side, but it was altered in 1706 into a doorway with a flight of steps down from the churchyard. On the south side windows of the same type were put in each bay of the Norman work but were blocked up when the Beauchamp Chapel was built.
Apparently the work of re-building the eastern part of the church had not advanced far above floor level when the earl died, and he was buried in a grave constructed in the choir floor, the Norman vaulting over the crypt being adapted for the purpose by means of four-centred arches thrown across one bay at a slightly lower level. (fn. 80) It would seem that building operations were stopped for a time, and it is believed that work on the whole church was finished not long before Thomas Beauchamp II died in 1401. The choir is divided into four bays by richly-moulded shafts which fan out into ribbed, flat, four-centred vaulting terminating in the centre of each bay with octagonal panels in each of which is an angel holding a shield containing the Beauchamp arms. An unusual and outstanding feature of the vaulting is the use of flying ribs, springing from the main vertical shafts and joining the main vaulting ribs near the central panels.
The east window is of six lights, its arch fourcentred to conform to the shape of the vaulting, and has typical Perpendicular tracery. There is traceried panelling round the window on the exterior gable, with the Beauchamp arms at the apex. On either side of the window is a tall canopied niche, now empty. In each side bay of the choir is a four-light window of similar character, but here the lights below a central transom are filled with stone; that on the north side is necessarily blank as the two-story vestry is built against the choir wall, but on the south side there are indications that it was originally intended to have the window fully glazed.
Internally the lower part of the walls between the main vertical shafts is enriched with minor shafts with four-centred arches and Perpendicular traceried panelling, crowned by a horizontal string and an ornamental battlement. This panelling is carried round the east end up to the modern alabaster reredos in the centre. It is modified on the south side of the sanctuary to include four-stall sedilia and a piscina. On the opposite wall three of the panels are recessed and the space in the thickness of the wall vaulted, forming an Easter Sepulchre. Beyond this the mouldings and tracery are mainly of cement copying the stonework, probably replacing a tall cupboard-opening corresponding to one in the vestry. The door into the vestry is modern, but occupies the position of the original door. Further west are two bays of panelling, again of cement; originally this was the main door into the choir and was blocked in the 18th century. Further west still, all the ornamental work except the vertical shafts is of cement, as it is also on the south side. The stonework here was originally plain and covered by the woodwork of the canopied stalls, which were destroyed in 1694.
On the south side of the choir, to the west of the sedilia, three bays of the panelling are pierced to form a screen through which the little chapel and the Beauchamp Chapel can be seen. In the thickness of the wall was a space, approached from the little chapel, probably intended as an oratory. Before the Beauchamp Chapel was erected there was already a building against the south side of this part of the choir. Thus the two-light window at the east end of the little chapel is built within the frame of an earlier window; this wall was apparently not further disturbed as it formed one of the buttresses supporting the choir vaulting. The earlier building was probably part of the Deanery. The oratory was perhaps for the use of the dean and the doorway now leading to the Beauchamp Chapel was probably the original way from the Deanery into the choir. It is known that the first act of the earl's executors, who were responsible for the erection of the Beauchamp Chapel, was to build a new Deanery so that the site could be cleared.
There can be little doubt that the early-18thcentury carpenters followed the plan of the medieval stalls destroyed in 1694. The new seats were used by the mayor and corporation (who had previously sat in the seats originally intended for the dean, canons, and vicars choral) until others were provided for them in the nave. Drawings showing the choir as it was before the Queen Anne woodwork was removed in 1851 (fn. 81) indicate that on the south side at the eastern end of the stalls there was a separate seat. This was presumably used by the mayor and replaced a similar seat which had existed before the fire; on the top of the canopy was a large carved mitre, evidently in imitation of a similar medieval ornament, and this is the only item of the 18th-century stall-work which has survived.
The choir and the buildings to the north of it must have been constructed together as the choir vaulting is supported by a series of flying buttresses springing from the pinnacled buttresses outside the vestry wall. Above the vestries is the sacristy, known in medieval times as the 'sextry' ; (fn. 82) the room is lighted by three wide, single-light windows, and on the south side are four openings which evidently allowed the sacristan to keep watch on the relics and valuables in the choir. The sacristy was approached by spiral stairs from the choir vestry, as well as by steps from the priests' vestry and from the warming room in the crypt. The vestries are spanned by three square bays of flat, four-centred, arched vaulting with moulded ribs, terminating in the centre of each bay with octagonal panels.
The two vestries are separated by a stone screen, through which an opening was made in c. 1704. The upper part of the screen consists of a series of twolight openings now filled with modern glass, but apparently they were always glazed as the saddlebars are ancient. The priests' vestry is lighted by a three-light window at the east end and by a wide single-light window on the north side which is now set in a deep recess although it was originally in the main wall. This alteration was probably made when the porch to the warming room below was built. The fire-place in the vestry is an 18th-century addition, making use of the warming-room flue. The choir vestry was lighted by one wide single-light window in the north wall, but this has been converted into an entrance from the churchyard. The spiral stair in the south-west angle, besides going up to the sacristy, gave access to the main roof and also to a short passage in the thickness of the west wall of the choir. The end is now blocked but originally the Our Lady, generally known as the Beauchamp Chapel, stands to the south of the choir with its main entrance at the west end approached by steps leading down from the south transept. It has a porch, the outer side of which was destroyed in the fire and was rebuilt in an elaborate and remarkably accurate Perpendicular Gothic style by Samuel Dunkley in 1704. (fn. 83) Across the east end is a vestry, and at the apex of the exterior gable are three figures, one of the Virgin and Child; the figures are not original. The chapel is divided into three bays; the central feature of the vaulting of each bay is a cusped octagonal panel, that at the eastern end containing a figure of the Virgin Mary, the central one the arms of Richard Beauchamp, and that at the western end the Newburgh arms. The lierne vaulting is elaborately divided by ribs and at the intersections are passage opened into an organ gallery on the eastern side of the stone screen which stood across the choir arch and was removed c. 1795.
The chapter house, on the north of the choir vestry, is lighted by five two-light, tracery-headed windows in the apsidal end. Beneath the central window is a stone seat in a canopied recess and on either side are four similar seats, two under each window, no doubt for the dean and canons. In the back of the first seat on the east side is a small opening, now blocked; it is immediately above the outside entrance to the crypt and was apparently intended to give a view of it.
Directions for the building of a chapel were given in the will of Richard Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick (d. 1439). (fn. 84) Work probably began in 1442 and was completed in 1462; (fn. 85) the charges met during that period amounted to about £2,784. (fn. 86) The Chapel of finely carved bosses. The ribs spring from moulded shafts at the angles of the chapel and from two intervening piers in each side of the building. Between these are six-light, four-centred, traceryheaded windows, with a seven-light window at the east end. At the western end, over the porch, is a three-light window, originally an open arch into which mullions and tracery were inserted in the 19th century. The west end and both side walls, below a string at sill level, are richly panelled, the panels having ogee heads, cusped and crocketted. On the main shafts dividing the bays are two niches with projecting canopies, intended for the display of the red-coloured surface; the canopies and crocketted heads of the panels all round the chapel, now brown, were originally gilded, some fragments of which remain; the rest of the wall and mouldings were white.
The upper part of the west wall is covered with a painting of the Last Judgement. In 1678 Robert Bird was paid £6 'for his work in painting the Resurrection in oil at the west end of the chapel (the like before being decayed)'. (fn. 87) The original one was painted by John Brentwood of London, who covenanted in 1449 'to paint fine and curiously . . . the doom of our Lord God Jesus, and all manner of devices and imagery thereto belonging' for the sum of £13 6s. 8d. (fn. 88) Below the picture on either side of the west window there was formerly an organ gallery, destroyed in the fire, which was approached by a staircase from the south transept. The inwardprojecting porch has a four-centred arch with a small canopied niche on each side.
On the sill of the south central window is a moulded beam with grooves and holes, designed to hold banners and pennons of which, according to an inventory of 1464, there was a large number. There are remains of a similar beam behind Lord Leicester's monument on the opposite side of the chapel.
The upper part of the east end of the chapel is entirely occupied by the window and its enriched frame. Below is a late-18th-century plaster reredos with the subject of the Annunciation. It was designed by Timothy Lightoler and the sculptor was William Collins. (fn. 89) In 1757 the east end had been described as having an altar 'which is modern, of very valuable marble, excellently executed'. (fn. 90) This was presumably the item supplied in 1735, when over £190 was paid for 'the new altar piece and for the marble'. (fn. 91) In c. 1775 the reredos was described as 'a fine bas relievo of the Salutation, under a Gothic canopy': evidently the marble reredos had by then been replaced. (fn. 92) On either side of the reredos are two large empty niches. The medieval reredos, consisting of a similar subject, with figures of St. Anne and St. George in niches on either side, was destroyed in 1642. In 1735 money was also paid 'for taking down the old monument'. This was the marble tablet to Lady Katherine Leveson (now placed above the stairway to the choir), made to the order of Sir William Dugdale by Edward Marshall, the London sculptor. Lady Katherine's benefaction, also known as the Foxley Charity, made at Sir William's suggestion, provided that £40 a year should be used for repairs in the chapel. (fn. 93)
On either side of the reredos the medieval stonework remains unaltered. On the south there is panelled work crowned by a delicate traceried canopy; on the north side is a door to the chapel vestry, and above it another canopy with an empty niche in the centre. Two hollows in the moulding round the east window and on the two large mullions are fitted with magnificent medieval figures; most of them are angels and are almost certainly the work of John Massingham. The whole is flanked on either side by a large canopied niche from which the figures have been removed. The main part of the carving represents the Nine Orders of Angels, around the seated figure of God the Father. In addition there are half-figures of angels holding shields bearing the arms of Beauchamp and their family connections, and below the angels are four female saints - St. Barbara, St. Katherine, St. Mary Magdalen, and St. Margaret. The bosses at the intersections of the vaulting ribs of the roof have cusped tracery in the centre and the sides are richly carved; these, together with the saints and angels and the heraldic devices, were re-gilded and painted in 1824.
The stalls on each side of the chapel have a continuous seat against the wall, continuing on the west wall up to the inward-projecting porch. The floor here is raised and beneath it is a 'sound-space' formed of carefully-dressed ashlar. In front is a moulded book-rest and below is a second seat. Between them, the back of the lower seat is formed by a series of deeply-sunk moulded panels with a plain shield in the centre of each. The bench-ends are ogee-shaped at the top, with poppy-heads and foliage, and several elbow rests are in the form of carved beasts.
The stained glass was made by John Prudde of Westminster, the royal glazier. (fn. 94) Originally all the windows were fitted with his work, but what remains of the main subjects has been collected in the east window while the side windows have been filled with plain leaded lights. The western windows on both sides were much damaged by the fire in 1694 and their tracery is filled with a patchwork of old fragments. The tracery of the other two windows on the north side and at the east end is practically in its original condition, but that on the south side has been considerably restored. The glass is celebrated for its representation of 15th-century musical notation which is shown on a long scroll carried through the tracery lights. The notation on the south side is modern and no attempt has been made to imitate the old. The tracery of the eastern windows on each side has an almost complete collection of the musical instruments in common use in the mid 15th century. (fn. 95)
The two outer lights on each side of the east window still contain their original figures, little altered. The first two are representations of St. Thomas of Canterbury and of St. Alban, patron saints of the founder; on the south side are St. Winifred and St. John of Bridlington; and in the two northern lights are parts of figures of prophets, moved from elsewhere. Among the fragments are parts of apostle panels. In the centre is a kneeling figure of the founder but with a woman's head substituted for his own. In the three lights above are fragments put together to appear as complete figures.
The central monument in the chapel is over the grave containing the bones of the founder, Richard Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick (d. 1439). (fn. 96) The richlycarved tomb-chest, with its step and top string entirely of Purbeck marble, was supplied by John Bourde of Corfe Castle (Dors.). The sides have five main canopied niches containing gilded latten figures, representing mourning relatives, with enamelled shields bearing their arms below; at the ends and between these niches are smaller ones for angels, each holding a scroll. The ends of the chest have the same arrangement, each with two main niches. The mourners are Cecily, wife of Henry, Duke of Warwick, and sister of the King-maker; Henry, the earl's son; Richard Neville, Earl of Salisbury, father of the King-maker; Edmund Beaufort, Duke of Somerset, husband of the earl's daughter Eleanor; Humphrey Stafford, Duke of Buckingham; John Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, husband of the earl's daughter Margaret; Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, the King-maker; George Neville, Lord Latimer, husband of the earl's daughter Elizabeth; Elizabeth, the earl's daughter; Ann, the earl's daughter, wife of the King-maker; Margaret, the earl's daughter; Ann, wife of the Duke of Buckingham; Eleanor, the earl's daughter; and Alice, wife of the Earl of Salisbury. Several craftsmen were involved in making the effigy, which was cast in latten by William Austen of London. (fn. 97) It lies on a latten plate and over it is a 'herse' on which are shields with the founder's arms, the royal arms, and those of St. George.
The founder's daughter Elizabeth and her husband were buried at the head of the central tomb, with their son Henry and son-in-law Oliver Dudley on either side of them. (fn. 98) At the sides of this group are Ambrose Dudley, Earl of Warwick (d. 1590), on the south and Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester (d. 1588), and his wife Lettice on the north. Ambrose Dudley's monument is mainly of alabaster; the tomb-chest has three panels on each side and one at each end, all with elaborate shields. The tomb-chest of Robert Dudley is surmounted by an elaborate canopy, formed by a pair of Corinthian columns on each side, carrying an entablature; over this is a heavy square panel with a coat-of-arms, and above that a raised pedestal. On either side of the panel is a square structure with openings on all four sides surmounted by a tall obelisk. In front of each of these structures is a female figure representing, apparently, Peace and War. Behind the main effigies is an arched recess in which is the inscription panel, and the whole is surrounded by sixteen pennons each carrying one of the quarterings from the main shield above. The monument has been variously ascribed to one of the Johnsons of Southwark and to Joseph Hollemans of Burton. Beneath the easternmost window on the south side of the chapel is a tomb-chest with an alabaster effigy of Robert Dudley (d. 1584), infant son of the Earl of Leicester.
The body of the church dates from 1697-1704, (fn. 99) the earlier structure having been set alight during the fire of 1694 by smouldering goods which had been rescued from burnt houses. The nave, aisles, transepts, and tower were so badly damaged that they had to be demolished.
The medieval nave had been four bays long and the aisles slightly longer, extending beyond the massive eastern piers of the tower. There was a western entrance under the tower, and north and south porches; over the latter was a room which John Rous used as his library. (fn. 100) The aisles each had three four-light windows containing Decorated tracery and there was a five-light Perpendicular window in each transept; in the clerestory were six small pointed windows of two lights. The squat tower appears to have contained much Norman work, including arcading and a corbel table beneath the parapet. (fn. 101)
After the fire, the eastern part of the church was promptly made fit for use and new seating provided, and a petition was eventually presented to the commissioners for the rebuilding of the town asking that work on the rest of the church should begin. Much building stone was subsequently dug from the churchyard, and many disturbed bones were stacked in the crypt: the 'bone house' there was not cleared of them until 1706. The vicar, William Eades, complained in 1697 and 1699 that as a result of the quarrying he had lost his rent from grazing in the churchyard. The rebuilding seems to have started in 1697 when payment was made 'for sinking for trial of the foundation'.
The architect responsible for the nave was Sir William Wilson, of Sutton Coldfield, and the masons employed were William and Francis Smith and Samuel Dunkley. (fn. 102) In the library of All Souls College, Oxford, are several designs by Sir Christopher Wren for a new nave and tower for St. Mary's Church. (fn. 103) Some are predominantly Gothic in style and others Classical, but none bear any resemblance to the executed work. The drawings were probably prepared in 1695-7 after a 'draught' of the existing church had been sent from Warwick. (fn. 104) In 1697 a gratuity of ten guineas was paid to Wren by the commissioners for 'copy designs and papers', (fn. 105) presumably those now at All Souls. Among them the plan and elevation of the medieval church have survived. (fn. 106) No evidence has been found that any design of Wren's was adopted or that he had any further connection with the rebuilding. (fn. 107)
The side walls of Sir William Wilson's nave are on the line of the medieval structure, but whereas the old west wall had followed the line of the street at an angle with the sides, the new one was at right-angles. The tower was first planned to stand on the west wall and on two large piers within the church. Between the tower and the chancel arch, the nave was divided into three bays, with columns rising to the springing of the vaulted ceiling. From east to west the arches are of stone, but the vault and the ornamentation were carried out in plaster. The general effect of the interior is Gothic with the introduction of Classical details in the pier capitals and in the cartouches at the intersection of the vaulting ribs. The wider spacing of the nave piers necessitated wider transepts and their length was proportionately increased. In the bays of the nave and at the ends of the transepts are very large threelight pointed windows containing tracery of unorthodox design. The mixture of Gothic and Classical details, particularly in the windows, produced a host of critics at the time of the 19th-century Gothic Revival.
When the tower was 20 ft. high above the roof it was discovered that the two eastern piers supporting it showed signs of failure; cracks in these piers, which are more substantial than the others in the nave, are still visible. The commissioners sought expert advice from Edward Strong, the master mason employed by Wren at St. Paul's and elsewhere. Early in 1700 Strong and his son were paid ten guineas and two guineas respectively for their journey to Warwick and a report on the failure of the tower piers. (fn. 108) The tower was then taken down to the level of the ceiling and the walls of the nave were raised in height and surmounted by a balustrade and urns. A new tower was erected further west, supported on the piers already incorporated in the west wall of the nave and on two more built out into the roadway; it thus replaced an intended portico. The completed tower is over 155 ft. high to the top of the pinnacles. (fn. 109) In outline it is Perpendicular Gothic, having tall angle pinnacles to the parapet with smaller pinnacles between them. The arches spanning the road are pointed, as are the openings at the centre of each face in the stages above them. Flanking these openings, however, are six tiers of round-headed niches. Another Classical feature is the continuation of the nave balustrade round three sides of the tower. In contrast the elaborate pierced parapet below the pinnacles is Jacobean in character. There is every reason to suppose that the tower, like the nave, was built to the design of Sir William Wilson. (fn. 110)
After the rebuilding there was only a small gallery at the west end of the nave, but after several extensions during the 18th century galleries occupied the whole length of the church on both sides. They were removed in 1896. In 1940 the north transept was set apart as the chapel of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment and enclosed by a screen. The south transept contains most of the memorials in the church, including that of Thomas Oken (d. 1573) and his wife Joan, with two brasses rescued from the fire. The brasses were mounted on a new stone slab between a pair of pilasters carrying a cornice and pediment; they had originally been in the north transept near the door to the choir vestry, where his grave lay 'against Saint Anne's altar'.
The oldest monument in the church is that in memory of Thomas Beauchamp I, Earl of Warwick (d. 1369). It is in the choir and is of alabaster, but it was much damaged in the fire of 1694 and was extensively repaired in plaster. The earl lies with the Countess of Warwick on his right. The sides of the tomb-chest are divided into eleven arched panels and the ends into seven, each containing a small figure; one additional panel and figure was added on each side and end after the fire. Thomas Beauchamp II, Earl of Warwick (d. 1401), and the countess (d. 1406) were buried under a monument in the south transept; it was destroyed in the fire but the brasses were recovered and placed on the east wall of the transept. Of other monuments, that to Thomas Hewitt (d. 1737), in the north transept, and one in the south transept which took the place of others of the Beaufoy family, destroyed in the fire, are of special interest: they were erected soon after the rebuilding and were designed in harmony with the architecture of the church. On the southern pier which was to have carried the tower is a memorial to Walter Savage Landor, the poet (1779-1864). A monument in the north transept to Lt.-Col. Louis Bazalgatte (d. 1866) was made by Edward Physick. (fn. 111)
In the choir vestry is a marble monument to Sir Thomas Puckering, Bt., which originally stood on the south side of the choir. It was designed and made by Nicholas Stone in 1639 at a cost of £200. The black marble slab with an inscription to Sir Thomas's daughter Cicely (d. 1636) still remains over her grave in the choir. Also in the choir is a monument to Sir Henry Puckering (d. 1700), made by James Hardy. (fn. 112) A large monument to Sir Fulke Greville (d. 1628) occupies the centre of the chapter house.
Above the tower arch is a clock made by Watson of London soon after the nave was completed, though its works are modern; on the other side of the arch are the arms of Queen Anne given in 1714 by 'Robert Abbott, of London, painter and native of this borough'. (fn. 113)
There were five bells in 1552 and six in 1656; in the latter year three new ones were cast and one of the old removed. The peal of eight was destroyed in the fire of 1694 but the fire bell, dated 1670, was saved and is now in the crypt. A new peal of ten, dated 1702-10, was made by Abraham Rudhall of Gloucester of which eight survive. The tenor was re-cast in 1814 and five others in 1901, when the peal was re-hung. (fn. 114) The clock, made by Smith of Derby, dates from 1903; the old clock, which had been bought at the rebuilding, is now in the crypt. In the crypt, to, is the tumbril part of a ducking stool. The organ case at the west end was made in 1730 by Thomas Swarbrick or Swarbrook, who was born in Warwick in 1675. The old case conceals some of the pipes of the modern organ, one of the first electric organs, made by Hope-Jones in 1897 and subsequently rebuilt and modernized. The old church plate was stolen in 1839, and a new silver set, consisting of 2 chalices, 2 patens, 4 alms dishes, and a flagon, was made in 1840-3 and bought by the congregation. (fn. 115) The registers begin in 1651 and are complete.
In 1824 a new burial ground for St. Mary's was opened in Friars Lane (later Friar Street); (fn. 116) this became the site of St. Paul's Church in 1844. In 1855 burials in the church and churchyard were ordered to cease, except in existing vaults and graves. (fn. 117) A new general cemetery was opened in that year on the Birmingham road. It is 21 acres in extent and has two mortuary chapels. (fn. 118)
The church of St. Nicholas was in 1123 granted to St. Mary's College. Its appropriation to St. Mary's was confirmed in 1398 (fn. 119) and the two remaining portioners of the rectory resigned in 1400. (fn. 120) A vicarage was ordained in 1401. (fn. 121) After the Dissolution St. Nicholas's was, with St. Mary's, granted to the corporation in 1545. (fn. 122)
The advowson of the rectory was held by St. Mary's and by 1237 the college had divided the living into three equal parts, appointing three rectors. In that year two of the parts were void and the third rector sought to have the church restored to its original state. (fn. 123) It was still divided in 1400, however. (fn. 124) The Dean of St. Mary's apparently presented to one part and two prebendaries to the others. (fn. 125) After 1401 the vicar was normally presented by the college. In 1528, however, Roger Wigston, James Cruse, Robert Brooke, and Richard Hyll presented by agreement with the college, and in 1546 James Orne presented by virtue of a concession from the college to himself and Gilbert Boune. (fn. 126) The corporation held the advowson after 1545, (fn. 127) although it was in 1558 granted to the Bishop of Worcester. (fn. 128) In 1839, under the provisions of the Municipal Corporations Act, the corporation sold the advowson to the Countess of Warwick (fn. 129) and she was patron in 1850; (fn. 130) subsequently the patrons have been the earls of Warwick. (fn. 131)
The rectory was worth £12 6s. 8d. in 1291, (fn. 132) £12 in 1340, (fn. 133) and £12 6s. 8d. in 1428. (fn. 134) The three rectors had equal portions, but in 1367, when there were only two rectors, each received £6 13s. 4d. (fn. 135) The college received £22 3s. 5½d. from it in 1461-2 (fn. 136) and £20 6s. 8d. from the farm of it in 1535, when a pension of 3s. 4d. was paid to Worcester Cathedral Priory. (fn. 137) The vicarage ordained in 1401 was assigned rents of £10 13s. 4d., together with oblations. In 1425 the income was increased by £2 13s. 4d. to enable the vicar to pay an assistant priest, and in 1462 6s. 8d. was added because there was no parsonage house. (fn. 138) In 1535 it was worth £13 6s. 8d. (fn. 139)
The grant of St. Mary's College to the corporation in 1545 did not mention the payment of a stipend to the Vicar of St. Nicholas's, but one of £13 6s. 8d. was, in fact, paid. (fn. 140) It was increased to £40 before 1638, (fn. 141) £60 in 1738, (fn. 142) and £220 in 1838. (fn. 143) In 1961-2 the net income was £873. (fn. 144)
Little is known of the tithes of St. Nicholas's before the Dissolution, although during the 15th century they were let, the income including £13 6s. 8d. for the fields of Myton, Coten End, and Hardwick. (fn. 145) After 1545 they formed part of the town's revenues from King Henry VIII's Estate. Portions of them were occasionally let. In 1570, for example, it was agreed that John Fisher should lease for 21 years at £6 a year the tithes of the fields of Coten End and Hardwick, in St. Nicholas's, at the expiration of an existing lease to Richard Fisher alias Hawkins for 40 years at the same rent; before that until 1541 the lessee had been John Carvanell, the Dean of St. Mary's. (fn. 146) In 1574 John Fisher arranged to lease half the tithes of the fields of Myton at the expiration of an existing lease, (fn. 147) and in 1572-3 and again in 1576 John Raye held a lease of the tithes there. (fn. 148) In 1584 the tithes of a mill were let to Thomas Roe and in 1585 to 'Mr. Fisher'. (fn. 149) In 1580 the tithes of Coten End and Hardwick fields were worth £6, those of Myton £10 6s. 8d., and the small tithes of St. Nicholas's £6. (fn. 150) The tithes of the greater part of the parish were extinguished by the inclosure award of 1773, (fn. 151) and in 1848 those of the remaining 243 acres were commuted for £84 payable to the trustees of the estate. (fn. 152)
Nothing is known of any glebe land. A parsonage house was provided and maintained by the corporation. In 1616 and 1714 the building, in St. Nicholas Church Street and close to the church, was described as of four bays. (fn. 153) It was rebuilt in 1819- 1820. (fn. 154) Since 1835 it has been maintained by the trustees of King Henry VIII's Estate.
In 1324 Robert le Purser was licensed to give £3 7s. 3d. rent to support a chantry in St. Nicholas's. (fn. 155) His son John, a servant of the Earl of Warwick, in 1336 granted the chantry to the earl. (fn. 156) Four obits and a light were maintained in St. Nicholas's by the Guild of Warwick in 1545; (fn. 157) the rents which supported them were subsequently paid to the Crown. (fn. 158)
At least two rectors of a third part of St. Nicholas's were pluralists: in 1291 one of the rectors was also beneficed elsewhere (fn. 159) and in 1400 John Pavy (d. 1414) was given dispensation to hold another benefice just before resigning. (fn. 160) Pavy was a lawyer in the household of the Bishop of Worcester in 1406, and in that of the Bishop of Hereford from 1408 to 1414. (fn. 161) Little else of note is known of the incumbents, but one, Robert 'in the gate', was in 1361 pardoned for the death of the Rector of Pitsford (Northants.). (fn. 162) In 1367 the two rectors then holding the living divided the parish between them: one worked on the north side of the bridge, the other on the south, and they respectively used the north and south parts of the choir. (fn. 163) After the ordination of the vicarage in 1401 there was no assistant priest until 1425 when the endowment was increased so that one might be paid. (fn. 164) A curate of St. Nicholas's is mentioned in 1536 (fn. 165) but there seems rarely to have been one in later times. (fn. 166) In 1580 the vicar was also master of the grammar school. (fn. 167) William Greenwood (vicar, 1713-69) was Vicar of St. Mary's as well as of St. Nicholas's. (fn. 168)
The surviving churchwardens' accounts reveal some of the changes made in the church after the Reformation. In 1547 the 'rood solar' was taken down and Erasmus's Paraphrase of the Gospels and other books were bought. Among various items sold in 1550 were the sepulchre, the holy water stoup, and timber from the rood loft and high altar; the altars were taken down and a communion table set up. In 1551 a copy of the new prayer book was bought. Under Mary the rood loft was reinstated, the timber having been re-purchased, and an altar and holy water stoup were set up. Images were erected and painted, and a sepulchre, a pax, and a pyx were among the items bought. In 1556 the first of ten articles agreed to be observed by the churchwardens warned them to see that all parishioners 'do their duties concerning all sacraments, sacramentals, and ceremonials'. In the first year of Elizabeth I's reign the images were defaced. The Ten Commandments were painted in the church in 1582, the Royal Arms in 1583, and the Lord's Prayer and the Creed in 1588. (fn. 169)
The first Puritan clergyman connected with the church was apparently Samuel Clark, a lecturer. He was criticized by Thomas Hall, Vicar of St. Mary's, (fn. 170) and in 1633 the corporation ordered him to stop lecturing until their differences were composed. Clark was ejected from a London curacy in 1662. (fn. 171) Henry Butler, Vicar of St. Nicholas's, 1643-62, was also ejected in 1662. He signed the Warwickshire Ministers' Testimony in 1648, was assistant to the Warwickshire Commission in 1654, (fn. 172) and an increase of £30 in his stipend was approved in 1657, on the recommendation of the Trustees for Maintenance of Ministers. (fn. 173) An augmentation for a lecturer in Warwick in 1659 may have been intended for St. Nicholas's. (fn. 174)
During the 16th and early 17th centuries no church rates were levied and the churchwardens' income came principally from the rents and fines of a dozen houses, and bell, seat, burial, and communion money. (fn. 175) In the early 16th century the profits from one messuage were bestowed on the ornaments of the church. (fn. 176) In 1826-7 the churchwardens received £169 in rents from a dozen houses and other property, and on this account there was still no need for a church rate. (fn. 177) In 1875-7 the church estate produced about £240 a year. The property was sold in 1878-9 and the proceeds invested in £4,978 stock; the annual income in 1886-9 was £161. By 1923 £4,236 stock was producing £154 income and in 1956 the principal was £4,635. (fn. 178) A parish room and Sunday school in Gerrard Street were given by the Earl of Warwick in 1886. (fn. 179)
The present church was erected in 1779-80. Little is known of the old church, which consisted of nave, chancel, west tower and spire, and north porch, although Rous asserted that the chancel which stood in his day had been the choir of a nunnery, destroyed in 1016. (fn. 180) It was said to have been very large, and to have had round-headed doors and windows. (fn. 181) Frequent repairs are mentioned in the churchwardens' accounts of the later 16th and early 17th centuries; in 1587, for example, a large number of shingles were bought for the roofs and work was done on 'the foundation of the bottoms of the windows'. There was a clock in the tower which may have been installed in 1562 when it is first mentioned in the accounts, and a cross stood in the churchyard. (fn. 182) When a brief was issued in 1776 for its rebuilding, the church was described as very ancient apart from the tower and spire; (fn. 183) these had been rebuilt c. 1750 perhaps by Job Collins. (fn. 184) The roof timbers were decayed and the north and south walls and pillars were out of perpendicular.
The new church was built, in the Gothic style, in 1779-80 by Thomas Johnson of Warwick. (fn. 185) The chief contributions to the cost of about £1,500 came from private subscriptions (£614), loans (£400), and the sale of pews (£374). The building consisted of a new nave, aisles, and chancel, and the old tower and spire; a vestry was added in 1824-6, and the chancel was rebuilt in 1869. The three-stage tower, perhaps altered in 1779-80, contains the main entrance to the church. In the lowest stage there are also two circular windows, in the second stage a niche with a crocketted canopy and two nicheshaped windows with circular openings above them, and in the third four two-light windows; above is an embattled parapet, with crocketted pinnacles and an octagonal spire. The simple nave with its high aisles is approximately square in plan. (fn. 186) It has a hipped roof terminating in a central cupola.
Among the monuments in the church is a brass to the first Vicar of St. Nicholas's, Robert Willardsey (d. 1424), and a slab to Samuel Jemmat (d. 1713), vicar for 46 years and Master of Lord Leicester's Hospital for 41 years. A tablet to Alexander Trotter (d. 1842) is by the sculptor William Behnes. (fn. 187)
There are now eight bells. Originally five were acquired in 1552; all had been recast by Newcombe of Leicester by 1571, and one was again recast in 1619. In 1695 a new peal of six was cast by Richard Keene of Woodstock. Two of these, the fourth and sixth, remain unaltered; the others are now recastings of 1773, 1798, 1849, and 1877. Two further trebles were added in 1887. (fn. 188) The church plate includes two silver chalices made in 1632 and 1635 and given in 1657, and a flagon made in 1743. Two patens were added in 1847. (fn. 189) The registers begin in 1539 and are complete.
. Rous asserted that St. Dubricius made All Saints' his episcopal seat, (fn. 192) but the church, served by secular canons, is first definitely mentioned in 1123 when its customs and privileges were confirmed by royal charter. In that year, however, the church was united with St. Mary's College and in 1128 the bishop translated the priests of All Saints' to St. Mary's. (fn. 193) The church stood in the castle precincts (fn. 194) but its exact site is not known. Stone coffins are said to have been found within the precincts, and one, probably of the 12th century, was preserved at the castle. (fn. 195)
The church of 'St. Sepulchre and St. Helen' was granted to St. Mary's College in 1123, but no more is heard of St. Helen's. (fn. 196) It stood on the site later occupied by St. Sepulchre's Priory the erection of which began in 1109. (fn. 197)
The chapel of St. James was granted to St. Mary's College between 1123 and 1153 and was united with St. Mary's in 1367; (fn. 198) the final appropriation probably took place in or soon after 1383. (fn. 199) The advowson belonged to the earls of Warwick, (fn. 200) and in 1206-7 the college was unsuccessful in disputing their patronage. (fn. 201) In 1383 Thomas Beauchamp II, Earl of Warwick, granted the advowson to the Guild of St. George the Martyr as part of its foundation endowment. (fn. 202) The church was worth £2 in 1317, (fn. 203) but was returned as of no value in 1340 (fn. 204) and was worth only £1 in 1367, when the living was said to have been void for many years. (fn. 205) At its foundation in 1383, the Guild of St. George was licensed to have a chantry with two chaplains in St. James's and to acquire lands to the value of £10 to maintain them. (fn. 206) The Guild of Warwick still maintained one priest there in 1545. (fn. 207)
After the Dissolution, St. James's passed with St. Mary's College to the corporation, which also acquired the adjoining Guildhall and its ancillary buildings. By 1565 the chapel had begun to fall into ruin and it was leased to John Fisher for 21 years on condition that he kept it in repair; in 1571, however, both chapel and buildings were granted to the Earl of Leicester so that he might found his hospital there. (fn. 208) The chapel still forms part of the hospital.
The chapel stands over West Gate, at the end of High Street. The early chapel was perhaps rebuilt by Thomas Beauchamp II at the same time as he built the Guildhall in the late 14th century. (fn. 209) In the 15th century both the chapel and the gate beneath it were extended by the addition of a square west tower with angle buttresses and an embattled parapet. (fn. 210) The large Perpendicular west window of the chapel is at the middle stage of the tower with the arch of the gate below and a belfry above. Later restorations have destroyed almost all the original features in the body of the chapel. It was largely rebuilt in the 18th century in what was afterwards described as a 'plain unmeaning manner'; several 'rich Gothic windows' were destoyed including a very large east window which was replaced by a blank wall. (fn. 211) A drawing made in the late 18th or early 19th century shows that there was then no east window and that the north door was approached by a flight of steps leading upwards from the hospital forecourt. (fn. 212) The building was re-roofed and completely restored in 1863-5 by G. G. (afterwards Sir Gilbert) Scott. (fn. 213) His work included a new east window of five lights and two-light Gothic windows in the side walls. The former parapet walks along the south and east sides of the chapel were rebuilt so that there could be a south as well as a north entrance; the south walk was spanned by five flying buttresses. During the restoration the stones of a 12th-century arch were found under the floor and were re-erected in the master's garden at the hospital. (fn. 214) There are no internal fittings dating from before the 19th century. Seats for the brethren are placed facing one another in the eastern part of the chapel which is enclosed by a carved screen. At the west end the floor is carried through into the tower. The single bell, dated 1721, is probably by Richard Sanders. (fn. 215)
. Rous asserted that the church of St. John was founded by Caradoc, (fn. 216) but it is first mentioned in 1123 when it was granted to St. Mary's College. In 1367 it was united with St. Mary's. (fn. 217) Two of the chaplains permanently established at St. Mary's in the mid 13th century were to be sacrists and rectors of St. John's. (fn. 218) The advowson belonged to the college. (fn. 219) The church was returned as of no value in 1340, (fn. 220) and in 1367, when there was no parsonage house or churchyard, it was worth scarcely 4 marks net. (fn. 221) By the late 15th century the church housed the grammar school and it apparently continued to be so used until the Dissolution. Later, having passed with St. Mary's to the corporation, it was leased by a tanner. (fn. 222) It is shown as a small building, without a tower, to the south of the Booth Hall, in 1654, (fn. 223) and 'the outward fabric' was still to be seen in Dugdale's time. (fn. 224) It appears to have been demolished before 1711, (fn. 225) though it was not burnt during the fire of 1694. (fn. 226)
The church of St. Lawrence was granted to St. Mary's College in 1123 and was united with it in 1367. (fn. 227) Rectors continued to be presented, however, (fn. 228) and in 1398 it was necessary to confirm the church's appropriation to St. Mary's; (fn. 229) the last rector died in 1410. (fn. 230) The Earl of Warwick claimed the advowson in 1203, (fn. 231) apparently unsuccessfully for it subsequently belonged to the college and presentations were usually made by a prebendary. (fn. 232) The church was valued at £5 13s. 4d. in 1291, (fn. 233) at 9 marks in 1340, (fn. 234) and at scarcely £5 in 1367 when the dean and prebendary took two parts of the tithe corn and the college two parts of the tithes of hay and mills and the small tithes. (fn. 235) The tithes were let during the 15th century. (fn. 236) In 1428 the church was worth £2. (fn. 237) Its value to St. Mary's was £4 16s. in 1461-2 (fn. 238) and £3 6s. 8d. in 1535, when a pension of 3s. 4d. from it was paid to Worcester Cathedral Priory. (fn. 239)
In 1282 one Philip, called surgicus, presumed to hold the living in the place of the rightful rector, Gilbert de Kyngton, (fn. 240) who was perhaps nonresident, as several other 14th-century rectors certainly were. In 1319, for example, Gilbert Virmyde was licensed to let the church and rectory house to the rector, a chaplain, and a clerk, all of St. Peter's, Warwick, for three years at 6 marks a year. They were to have the church served by a chaplain and to pay an annual pension due to St. Mary's. (fn. 241) Two rectors were licensed to be absent for study: Thomas de Barneby in 1325 for two years, and Roger de Laffeld in 1334 for one year. (fn. 242) Finally, Adam Coriat had a dispensation on account of illegitimacy extended in 1353 so that he might hold two additional benefices. (fn. 243)
St. Lawrence's apparently continued in use as a church for some time after its appropriation to St. Mary's, and the building was still standing in 1632. (fn. 244) It was outside the town walls, in West Street; when the road was widened in 1837 the churchyard was discovered and a Norman capital found. (fn. 245)
The church of St. Michael was granted to St. Mary's College in 1123 and was united with it in 1367. (fn. 246) It appears subsequently to have become the chapel of the nearby hospital of St. Michael. (fn. 247) The patronage of St. Michael's Church was exercised at different times by St. Mary's College (fn. 248) and by the earls of Warwick. (fn. 249) The value of the church in 1291 is not known but St. Mary's then had a pension of 11s. 6d. from it and St. Michael's Hospital one of 6s. 8d. (fn. 250) In 1340 it was worth 5½ marks, (fn. 251) but by 1367 scarcely one mark, the church itself being ruinous, the churchyard small, and a parsonage house lacking. (fn. 252)
The church stood outside the town walls on the north-west, in the Saltisford. Leland, c. 1538, described the hospital as 'much in ruin, and taken for a free chapel'. (fn. 253) The building is shown on a map of 1654. (fn. 254) The remains have been incorporated in an 18th-century cottage: they include parts of the stone walls, the west gable-end, and the east end and east window, together with an early-15th-century barrel roof in the cottage bedroom, having exposed timbers with moulded bosses at their intersections. (fn. 255)
A secular college at Myton, of which Roger, Earl of Warwick (d. 1153), was a benefactor, formed part of the estate of St. Mary's College, and seems as a result to have lost its separate identity. (fn. 256)
The church of St. Peter was granted to St. Mary's College in 1123 and was united with it in 1367. In 1398 it was necessary to confirm the appropriation to the college, (fn. 257) and the rector resigned in 1400. (fn. 258) The advowson belonged to St. Mary's. (fn. 259) The church was returned as of no value in 1340, (fn. 260) and it was worth scarcely 5 marks in 1367, when there was no churchyard or parsonage house. (fn. 261) The church stood in High Street at or near the corner with Castle Street, (fn. 262) and was probably removed at some date between 1422 and 1426. (fn. 263)
A chapel dedicated to St. Peter was then built over the East Gate. (fn. 264) Pilgrims visited it, but only small oblations were offered. (fn. 265) A chantry priest in this chapel was maintained by the Guild of Warwick in 1545. (fn. 266) In 1571 the chapel was said to be 'ruinous and ready to fall', but in 1574 the Earls of Leicester and Warwick granted it to the corporation. (fn. 267) The chapel was listed as corporation property in 1581, (fn. 268) but, together with the Court House and Shire Hall, it was taken into Crown hands on the death of Ambrose Dudley in 1590; described as concealed lands, the property was leased by the Crown to the corporation for 40 years in 1595. (fn. 269) In 1600 it was granted to Richard Dawes and Thomas Wagstaffe, and in the same year they sold it to William Spicer who sold it to the corporation. (fn. 270) By 1615 the corporation was letting it to local men. (fn. 271) In 1700 the chapel was converted into a school and let to Thomas Meads, schoolmaster; (fn. 272) this may have been the school which Thomas Oken had directed to be set up in 1571. (fn. 273) In the early 19th century, when the chapel was still maintained by the corporation, the Bablake School was held there. (fn. 274) Various tenants held it from the trustees of King Henry VIII's Estate until, in 1916, it was leased to the King's High School for Girls. (fn. 275) It remains part of the school.
The church of St. Sepulchre's Priory was granted to St. Mary's College in 1123 but was excluded from the confirmation of the grant in 1128-9. (fn. 278) During a long dispute after c. 1150 the priory vindicated its claims to some parochial rights, and the prior held a prebend, of small value, in St. Mary's until he was expelled in 1396 after claiming a canonical share of certain new college endowments. (fn. 279)
The chapel of Guy's Cliffe, standing on a steep slope overlooking the River Avon, 1½ mile north-east of the town, is dedicated to St. Mary Magdalene. Rous asserted that St. Dubricius chose the spot as a place of devotion and that in Saxon times a hermit lived in a cave there; the legendary Guy, Earl of Warwick, is reported to have retired to live there and to have given it its name. (fn. 280) A hermit was living there in 1334. (fn. 281) The hermitage became the property of St. Sepulchre's Priory, but was given to the Earl of Warwick by 1422 in exchange for land nearer the town. (fn. 282) In 1408 the hermit received a stipend of £5 from the Earl of Warwick. (fn. 283) In 1423 Richard, Earl of Warwick (d. 1439), was licensed to found a chantry in honour of God and St. Mary in the chapel and to grant property worth £16 to two chaplains, and in 1430 he actually granted them lands and rents worth £12 17s. 10½d. (fn. 284) By his will Richard directed that the chapel and other buildings should be rebuilt and this was done between 1449-50 and 1459-60 at a cost of nearly £200. (fn. 285) The chantry was worth £19 4s. 4d. in 1535 (fn. 286) and £19 10s. 6d. in 1545, (fn. 287) when the chaplains' houses were the only households in the vicinity. John Rous, the historian, was a chaplain there until his death in 1491. (fn. 288)
The chapel of St. Mary Magdalene stands on the cliff to the west of Guy's Cave. A house beyond the chapel, which was still standing in Dugdale's time, may have represented the dwelling or dwellings of the chantry priests; (fn. 291) it was later rebuilt as Guy's Cliffe House, described elsewhere. (fn. 292) An inscription on the wall of the cave, at one time thought to be of Saxon origin, was translated in 1870 as 'Cast out, thou Christ, from they servant this burden Guhthi'. (fn. 293) Doubt has recently been thrown on this translation and on the claim that it proves Saxon occupation of the cave. (fn. 294) The chapel consists of two parallel aisles of five bays, with a porch and small tower at the centre of the 'south' wall. Under the building is a rock-cut passage which was extended c. 1825 and fitted with a carved 15th-century door brought from Wellesbourne church. (fn. 295) It is not known when the chapel was first built but a lancet window uncovered in the 'north' wall in 1933 (fn. 296) might suggest a 13thcentury date. The 'east' wall, the base of the tower, the porch vault, and the base of the arcade between the aisles are all part of the mid-15th-century rebuilding. The 'east' wall originally had twin gables, the lines of which are still visible, but already in Dugdale's time there was a single high-pitched roof, then thatched. (fn. 297) In 1764 Samuel Greatheed, then owner of the estate, rebuilt the upper part of the chapel. His son's alterations in 1819-24 included the plaster vaulting. In the late 18th century the building had been used as a carpenter's workshop but after a restoration in 1876 it was opened for worship; it was again restored in 1933. (fn. 298) Inside the chapel, carved out of the rock face against which it is built, is a standing figure in armour, nearly 9 ft. high, representing Guy of Warwick. The carving, which may date from the later 14th century, is less complete than in Dugdale's time. (fn. 299)
St. Paul's, in Friar Street, was formed as a district chapelry in 1844 out of the western part of St. Mary's parish. (fn. 300) It was at first known as St. Mary's Episcopal Chapel and was served from the mother church, but in 1849 it became a vicarage under the patronage of the Vicar of St. Mary's. (fn. 301) The living was endowed in 1849 with £45 a year from the Common Fund and with £105 a year from the same source in 1859. (fn. 302) In 1961-2 the net income was £931. (fn. 303) The church is an extension of the cemetery chapel built by the corporation in 1824-5; the burial ground had been the gift of the Revd. Thomas Cattell, and the cost of walling the area and building the chapel was over £2,000. (fn. 304) Its extension for use as a parish church cost £3,500, with stone given by the Earl of Warwick. (fn. 305) The original chapel became the south transept of the church, which now consists of a nave and apse and south transept. A set of plate was presented in 1844 and there is one bell. (fn. 306) New burials in the churchyard were ordered to cease in 1870. (fn. 307) The vicarage is in West Street and there is a parish room in Friar Street.
ALL SAINTS, EMSCOTE
All Saints, Emscote, was formed in 1861 as a district chapelry out of the eastern part of the parish of St. Nicholas, occupying the district known as Emscote. (fn. 308) It is a vicarage under the patronage of the Vicar of St. Nicholas's. The Ecclesiastical Commissioners received a benefaction of £1,135 for the church and in 1863 £1,000 was appropriated from the Common Fund to provide a Vicarage. It was at the same time arranged for £34 a year to be paid to the church in respect of the benefaction, and in addition £33 in respect of the building grant until the grant should be used. (fn. 309) In 1961-2 the net income was £806. (fn. 310) The church, designed in the Decorated style by James Murray, was begun in 1854 and opened for worship by licence in 1856. It then consisted of nave, chancel, transepts and south aisle. By the beneficence of Miss Marianne Philips of Leamington, who spent £20,000 on the church, the chancel was extended, the nave roof raised to make a clerestory, a tower and spire built over the south porch, and a north aisle and vestry added. The new work was consecrated in 1872. (fn. 311) The church is richly decorated and has developed in the Catholic tradition under the inspiration of its first vicar, Dr. T. B. Dickins, and his successors. The plate comprises a silver gilt chalice, dated 1562 but with earlier, possibly continental, work, and a cup and paten presented in 1861. There are eight bells, all cast by J. Taylor of Loughborough; six were made in 1876 and two, presented by Miss Philips, in 1885. (fn. 312)
Near the church are the vicarage, the church house (for assistant clergy), and St. Edith's Hostel. (fn. 313) A mission room was built in Emscote Road in 1874 and a second in Pickard Street in 1909; (fn. 314) the latter was sold in 1963. (fn. 315)