Herefordshire Places of Worship

St Cosmas & St Damian's Church, Stretford (1) (34k) St Cosmas & St Damian's Church, Stretford (2) (28k) St Cosmas & St Damian's Church, Stretford (3) (27k) St Cosmas & St Damian's Church, Stretford (4) (34k) St Cosmas & St Damian's Church, Stretford (5) (31k) St Cosmas & St Damian's Church, Stretford (6) (32k) St Cosmas & St Damian's Church, Stretford (7) (44k) St Cosmas & St Damian's Church, Stretford (8) (24k) Above Photograph(s)
Copyright of Rosemary Lockie
St Cosmas & St Damian's Church, Stretford
St Cosmas & St Damian's Church,
off A4110, adjacent Stretford Court,
Stretford, Herefordshire.

Cemeteries

This Church has (or had) a graveyard.

Note: any church within an urban environment may have had its graveyard closed after the Burial Act of 1853. Any new church built after that is unlikely to have had a graveyard at all.

Church History

This Place of Worship was founded in the 12th century, and we understand it is still open.

The following information about the Church has been provided to accompany the photographs on the right. A list of people who have supplied the information is included in the Acknowledgements, below.

[Image 1] A deceptively simple looking church on the outside, but inside there are twin naves, both with chancels and an altar - as befitting its dedication to the twin saints Cosmas and Damian, from Aegea in Sicily.

A shrine, and a place of worship on this site is understood to date from late Roman times - but the present building was begun in the early to mid-12th century, when the north aisle, and chapel were built. There is a blocked up northern doorway, of similar vintage. The south chancel and nave were added in the first half of the 13th century, with the arcade which now separates the two halves of the church. Originally also there was a double-gabled roof, but this was removed about 1540 and replaced by the existing single-span.

For a short period until about 1920, the dedication of the church was changed to St Peter, and indeed some printed sources - including Pevsner - still refer to it as such. The original dedication to St Cosmas and St Damian was however restored in 1921. There are only a small number of other churches in England with a similar dedication - four are in Kent, and there is one in Sherrington in Wiltshire.

The church is currently in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust.[1]

[Image 2] The south (13th century) nave, and its chancel.[1]

[Image 3] The original (12th century) nave (also called a north aisle), and its chapel.[1]

[Image 4] The font is understood to date from the 12th century, although it was the candelabra which caught my eye for this photograph.[1]

[Image 5] This is the first time I''ve seen a statue recess with its effigies intact!

This is one of two in the church, both set against the north wall; unfortunately I missed seeing the other one, which (according to the guide book) is of similar workmanship and appearance.

They are understood to date from 1320-50, confirmed by the style of armour worn by the knights, and the dress of the ladies - both of whom wear wimples, and long sleeved gowns. Both knights have shields on their left arms carved with the arms of the lords of the manor - de la Bere. It is believed they are Robert de la Bere (d. after 1334) and his wife Margaret (Gamage), and their son John, and his wife Agnes (Turberville).[1]

[Image 6] St Cosmas and St Damian's shrine is set at the east end of the arcade, facing towards the twin altars. Its sill is a reused 13th century carved coffin lid.[1]

[Image 7] There is a blocked up mid-12th century doorway on this side of the church. Unfortunately it isn't possible to see it on my photograph, but according to the internal plan it should be towards the west (right) end, beneath the tower .[1]

[Image 8] One of many representations of the twin saints Cosmas and Damian, patron saints of physicians - this one on display in the church. The caption beneath reads:

“SS. Medici Cosma e Damiano
Patron Saints of Physicians and Pharmacists.”[1]

Denomination

Now or formerly Church of England.

If more than one congregation has worshipped here, or its congregation has united with others, in most cases this will record its original dedication.

Maps

This Church is located at OS grid reference SO4434855738. You can see this on various mapping systems. Note all links open in a new window:

Resources

I have found many websites of use whilst compiling the information for this database. Here are some which deserve mention as being of special interest for Stretford, and perhaps to Local History and Places of Worship as a whole.

The above links were selected and reviewed at the time I prepared the information, but please be aware their content may vary, or disappear entirely. These factors are outside my control.

Acknowledgements

A special thanks to the following people who have contributed information for this web page:

1. Information provided by Rosemary Lockie.

Information last updated on 4 Oct 2010 at 00:00.

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This Report was created 16 Jul 2020 - 16:34:12 BST from information held in the Herefordshire section of the Places of Worship Database. This was last updated on 7 Feb 2019 at 13:34.

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