Worcestershire Places of Worship

All Saints, Spetchley (1) (39k) All Saints, Spetchley (2) (26k) All Saints, Spetchley (3) (35k) All Saints, Spetchley (4) (34k) All Saints, Spetchley (5) (39k) Above Photograph(s)
Copyright of Mel Lockie
All Saints, Spetchley
All Saints,
Spetchley, Worcestershire.

Cemeteries

This Church 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 before 988, though it is now closed, but we don't yet know when.

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] The earliest known record of a settlement here is from the 9th century, when it was called Spæcleahtun. In 988 a manuscript in Worcester Cathedral archives mentions Bishop Oswald granting land to monks at Spetchley, on which presumably they built a chapel for worship. The first mention of a church was in 1291, and the first appearance of its dedication to ‘All Saints’ appears in 1330.

The parish records date from 1539, although the Order in Council for burials to take place did not occur until 1561.

The exterior walls of the church record its varied history. Groves on the stonework around several of the doors have been made by the sharpening of weapons - at a time when the churchyard would have been the assembly point for the local ‘militia’ for training, and in contrast scratched initials and crosses possibly recording betrothals, pilgrimages, pledges, or maybe even business deals.

A descendant of the Berkeley family of Berkeley in Gloucestershire acquired the estate in 1606 from its former owners, the Sheldons. Their private chapel was built in 1614 onto the south side of the church; the stone-carved shield above its west entrance doorway depicting their arms is just visible in this photograph. The main entrance to the church is however through the ancient timbered porch in the west wall, underneath the tower.

Spetchley Church is no longer open for worship, and has been vested in the Churches Conservation Trust. These notes have been compiled with reference to their leaflet recording its history.[1]

[Image 2] The altar is late 17th century; the east window is Victorian, with its stained glass, like that in the rest of the church, by John Hardman.[1]

[Image 3] One of many monuments to the Berkeley family in their private chapel in Spetchley Church. The inscription reads:

To the Pious and Sacred Memory of Thomas BERKELEY
Esqr. ye. only Son of Sr. Robert BERKELEY a younger
Male Branch lineally descended from Thomas BERKELEY
of Dursley in Gloucestershire who dyed in the 2d. yeare of
Richard the 3d. 1484, and lyse buryed in the Chancell of
Berkeley Church, Brother to William Earle of Nocting-
cham, who was after created Great Mareschall of Eng-
land, and Marquess Berkeley by Henry the 7th being the
4th. Son of James the firste Baron Berekely of Berkeley
Castle in the said County of Gloucester, and of Isabell
the Eldest Daughter of Thomas Lord Mombray, Duke
of Norfolke, Earle Mareshchall and of Nottingham, And of
Elizabeth a Coheiress of a Second Family of COIGNIERS
of Sokeborne in the Bishoprick of Durham.
He died Decemb ye 22d 1693 Aged 63
P. S. M.
And to the Pious and Sacred Memory of Anne BERKE
LEY, Wife of the first named Thomas BERKELEY,
Eldest Daughter of William DARELL of Scotney in
Kent Esquire. And of Elizabeth Daughter to Sr.
Roger APPLETON of Southamstead in Essex Bart.
She died Setpembr. ye. 18th. in ye. yeare 1692
Robert BERKELEY of this parish of Spetchley in
the County of Worcester Esqr. their Eldest Son, Erected
this Monument in the yeare of our Lord
1693.[2]

[Image 4] The Berkeley Chapel in Spetchley Church is dedicated to the Holy Trinity, and dates from 1614. This monument is to the memory of Sir Rowland (d.1611) and Lady Katharine Berkeley (née Haywood). Rowland Berkeley was MP for the City of Worcester and the founder of the Berkeley “dynasty” at Spetchley.

The south wall of the chapel has a figure of Sir Robert Berkeley, Sir Rowland's son, d.1656, who fought for the Royalist cause at the Battle of Worcester in 1651. At that time, the original Manor House was destroyed - not by Cromwell's soldiers as you'd expect, but by a “disgruntled band of Scottish Presbyterians”[1], wanting to stop Cromwell using it as a garrison. Thereafter Sir Robert, and his descendants were to live in the stable block, until the present house was built in 1811.

The chapel contains many other monuments to the family.

Reference
[1] This snippet was discovered on a former version of the website of Spetchley Park Gardens.[1]

[Image 5] This monument, to Sir Rowland Berkeley (d.1611) and his wife Katharine was erected by their son Sir Robert (d.1656), as was the chapel itself which dates from 1614.[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 was located in the town/village nearest OS grid reference SO890530. 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 Spetchley, 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.

2. Transcription provided by Rosemary Lockie.

Information last updated on 3 Feb 2011 at 00:00.

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This Report was created 29 Oct 2020 - 05:31:37 GMT 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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