Worcestershire Places of Worship

St Faith, Overbury (1) (24k) St Faith, Overbury (2) (29k) St Faith, Overbury (3) (33k) St Faith, Overbury (4) (32k) St Faith, Overbury (5) (29k) St Faith, Overbury (6) (29k) St Faith, Overbury (7) (38k) St Faith, Overbury (8) (38k) Above Photograph(s)
Copyright of Rosemary Lockie
St Faith, Overbury
St Faith,
Overbury, Worcestershire.

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 11th 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] This view of the church is from the lane leading up the side of the churchyard towards Overbury Court. A stream runs underneath the road, and bubbles out in the churchyard, only to disappear again, near the Lychgate.

The stream has its source on Bredon Hill, and during the 17th and 18th centuries it was providing power to drive several mills, producing flour, paper and silk threads. The rise and fall of this industry can, perhaps, be observed in some population figures. The Church Guide Book records that the population in the mid 18th century may have been about 350, after which there was a steep rise to about 800 in 1800; however by the 1871 census, it had fallen again, down to 650.

The village is part of the estate of Overbury Court, which has been the residence of the MARTIN family, since 1723. Its first tenant was John MARTIN, a London Banker, who was born in Evesham. The present Court building dates from 1738, when it was rebuilt, following a fire.[1]

[Image 2] Clever spotlighting in the church draws our attention to the Chancel, and I would agree with the guidebook, that it is the finest aspect of St Faith's - “a beautiful example of the Early English period (c1230). The vaulted roof springs from slender columns enriched with decorated capitals, and the lancet windows on either side are framed by narrow double pillars.”

Note the double archway, enclosing space underneath the central Tower.[1]

[Image 3] The Tower, unusually, is centrally placed between nave and chancel; its present structure is believed to date from the 15th century, but its situation suggests some form of structure would have predated its construction, as both nave, built in the 11th century, and chancel (about 1230) are earlier structures.[1]

[Image 4] St Faith's has both north, and south aisles. To the left of the central pillar we can see the wall memorial to Charles and Mary AGGE, and to its right, the north east window. Its left panel depicts St Faith, portrayed holding a book in her left hand, and what looks like a short ladder in her right, representing her martyrdom tied to a burning grid.[1]

[Image 5] North and South Aisles were widened in the mid-14th century, but their structure is understood to date from before then. This photograph shows the amazing Norman clerestory ‘windows’ (illuminated by spotlights), which were originally open, but became enclosed within the church fabric when the roof was raised.

The wall memorial to Richard DARKE can be seen through the right archway.[1]

[Image 6] The Inscription reads:

Sacred / To the Memory
of the
Revd. George MARTIN, A.M.
Son of
Joseph MARTIN Esqre. M.P.
Banker in London
and of Eleanor his Wife
who departed this Life
August 22d.
1796
Ann Aetat 32
He was one of the best of Men

It seems likely the memorial should read ‘M.A.’, rather than ‘A.M.’ George MARTIN is recorded in Alumni Oxoniensis as the son of Joseph, of Leatherhead, Surrey, arm., entering Christ Church College, to matriculate in 1781 aged 16, obtaining a B.A. in 1785, and M.A. in 1788. He was vicar of Broad Hinton, Dorset in 1792, and of Overbury and Cowley in Worcester, until his death at Ham Court on 22 August 1796.[1]

[Image 7] The Inscription reads:

Underneath
this Tablet lies the Body of
Mary the Wife of Richard
DARKE of this Parish who
departed this life May 22 1758
aged 48 Years.
Also Near this place lies the Body of
Richard DARKE who departed this life
December 19 1775
Aged 74 Years
Here lies in sleep both man and wife
Now joined in death as once in Life
Resting in hopes of rising hence
in Christ by Gods Omnipotence
Here's comfort too for loving friends
They led good lives made happy ends
Likewise near this place lies the Body of
John Son of the above Richard and
Mary DARKE he died October the 18 1762
Aged 30 Years
Death in my Prime gave me a fall
Where I must lye till Christ doth call
My dear Redeemer knew which way was best
To Ease my Pain and let my soul at Rest

The ‘tablet’ on display is a beautifully created facsimile of the original, which is assumed to be underneath. Its original form can be visualised from the tablets to its left, which also commemorate the DARKE family.[1]

[Image 8] This most attractive Lychgate was designed by Sir Herbert Baker in 1921 as a Memorial to those who died in WWI. The names of the men who died are inscribed on two sides of the central pediment; whilst the names of those who died in WWII are recorded on a tablet in the Lychgate wall.[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 in the town/village nearest OS grid reference SO950370. 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 Overbury, 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 3 Feb 2011 at 00:00.

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This Report was created 17 Jun 2020 - 17:44:12 BST from information held in the Worcestershire section of the Places of Worship Database. This was last updated on 7 Feb 2019 at 12:48.

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