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Church History


The Nave and Chance

The Nave and Chancel of Warndon St.Nicholas are of one piece, and date from the early 12th century, though the chancel was rebuilt in the 14th century. 

The nave is built of blue lias stone to about 4 feet, with red sandstone above, covered with lime plaster. In one of the pews of the south side, the remains of the 14th century axe hewn rood screen can be seen. The seating consists of 19th century box pews, fixed to the low-backed pews of 15th century origin. The ceiling is barrel-shaped, constructed of lathe and plaster, and is an 18th century "improvement".


At the west end of the nave, the ceiling lowers to form a room (seen only from the first floor of the 16th century tower). Heavy timbers suggest that this room was a large bell-code of an earlier date than the tower. The arch from the nave to the tower has been cut and partially refilled, but enough detail remains to show that a flat lintelled window was in place before the present tower was built. Both the north and the south doorways have 12th century stone arches.


Set into the floor of the chancel, on the south side, and in the Sanctuary, are 14th century hand-painted floor tiles, made in Malvern and common throughout Worcestershire at the time. These represent one of the largest extant collections of medieval floor tiles in the country. Set amongst them is the church's oldest memorial stone, beneath which is a burial chamber. The altar and high three-sided altar rails are Jacobean, but the date of the communion pew, running along the south wall, is uncertain.


The Font

The 15th century font is of very rare design. It is heptagonal, and the stem is of the same thickness as the bowl, both being treated and moulded as one member. 


This has given rise to the idea that it may be a scooped out pillar base, possibly of Roman origin. The bowl is lead lined.


The Windows

The East window is of the Transistory period in design, dating from the early 1300s. It contains glass from the early part of the 14th century, with the Madonna and Child dated to 1325, and the other figure slightly earlier. The glass, though small, is of fine quality. The window was restored in 1985 by K.Barley of York.

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St.Andrew and the Annunciation
St.Andrew holds his attribute, the saltire cross.

Virgin Mary and Child

The figures are complete, with substantial remains of their original background and canopy work. The style and design show a close affinity to the Virgin and Child at Fladbury, Worcestershire. Note the detail of the breast feeding mother.  The Virgin and Child glass featured in the Royal Academy Age of Chivalry exhibition (November 1987 - March 1988)

St.Paul and St.Peter
St.Paul is shown with bald head and sheathed sword; St.Peter with the tonsure and two large keys.

The nave windows have square heads with tracery inserts, and some contain quantities of clear medieval glass. In the second window in the south wall, a bearded face can be distinguished.


The Charity Board

In 1813, Mrs. Anne Summers, as requested in her first husband's will, gave £100 to the church, the interest on which was to be given for gowns for the poor women of the parish. No woman was to have a gown for two years running. In 1909, fourteen gowns were bought from Russell and Dorrell in Worcester for five shillings and sixpence each. 

In 1822, Colonel Henry Barry gave £50 on behalf of his sister, Elizabeth Barry, for the poor. The interest amounted to 27 shillings (£1.35p) and was distributed in bread.

The piece of land north of the canal bridge at the end of Tolladine Lane, given to the Parish in the 1830s, was sold in 1873 to pay for church restoration.


The Tower

The tower is constructed of solid oak timbers with lathe and plaster infill. The lower part of the tower is used as the vestry. Above is a small room, and above that is the bell chamber, which houses three bells. 

Tenor.  This is the oldest and the largest bell weighing 6 cwt (305 Kg). Inscribed "SANCTE GABRIHELIS ORA PRO NOBIS" (Holy Gabriel, pray for us). It was made by John de Belfrere of Worcester and is dated 1440

Treble.  Dated 1710 and weighing 4.5 cwt (229Kg), inscribed with the name John Brook and the mark of Richard Sanders of Bromsgrove.

Treble.  Dated 1737 and weighing 1.5 cwt (76 Kg), inscribed with the name James Payne and the mark of Richard Sanders of Bromsgrove. This bell was given to St.Nicholas by Lulsley Church, and is reputed to be the last bell cast in Worcester. 

Prattington, in Worcestershire Churches (1818) states that there had been another medieval bell in the tower inscribed "AVE MARIA ORA PRO NOBIS" (Hail Mary, pray for us). Unfortunately, the bell was sold for scrap in 1834, as it was cracked. The Church received £13.10s.2d. (£13.51p)


The Exterior

The porch was made in the 17th century and is claimed to be the oldest timber porch in the diocese. 



An old scratch sun dial can be found on one of the buttresses on the south wall, next to the south door. This marked the hours of masses.

On the north side of the church are two of the oldest yew trees in Worcestershire, and beneath one of the them can be seen the base and shaft of a cross, a familiar feature of medieval villages. 

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