Worcestershire Places of Worship

St Mary the Virgin's Church, Madresfield (1) (42k) St Mary the Virgin's Church, Madresfield (2) (27k) St Mary the Virgin's Church, Madresfield (3) (36k) St Mary the Virgin's Church, Madresfield (4) (35k) St Mary the Virgin's Church, Madresfield (5) (31k) St Mary the Virgin's Church, Madresfield (6) (27k) St Mary the Virgin's Church, Madresfield (7) (43k) St Mary the Virgin's Church, Madresfield (8) (51k) St Mary the Virgin's Church, Madresfield (9) (32k) St Mary the Virgin's Church, Madresfield (10) (28k) St Mary the Virgin's Church, Madresfield (11) (19k) St Mary the Virgin's Church, Madresfield (12) (35k) Above Photograph(s)
Copyright of Rosemary Lockie
St Mary the Virgin's Church, Madresfield
St Mary the Virgin's Church,
Madresfield Road,
Madresfield, Worcestershire.


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 1200, 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 ‘modern’ looking church is the 3rd known to have been built to serve Madresfield. The first church was late Norman, built c.1200, but by the 1850s was beyond repair, so a new church was commissioned by John, 3rd Earl Beauchamp, to replace it. The 2nd church was designed by Pugin the Younger, but unfortunately its foundations were unsound, and that in turn had to be demolished.

Even so, Berrows Worcester Journal in 1860 had some glowing remarks to make of it:

...the edifice has been reconstructed in very good taste, and for the population of the parish, which does not exceed 200... is sufficiently commodious: the church is in the Decorated style, has a handsome East window of modern stained glass, a pulpit and a reredos of carved Caen stone, and an exquisitely carved octagonal font.

The present church was completely rebuilt, on a site about 300m from the old; however many of the original materials have been reused, including the font and reredos. It was the gift of Henry, 5th Earl Beauchamp, known as the ‘Peasants' Earl’, because of kindnesses he showed to his tenants, and designed by Frederick Preedy, so typically it contains some fine stained glass. It was consecreated on 10 Nov 1867.[1]

[Image 2] The church has most distinctive wall painting surrounding the Chancel Arch. This decoration was commissioned by William Charles HILL, in memory of his grandfather, the Revd. Reginald PYNDAR, Rector of Madresfield 1793-1832, and his father Charles HILL, Rector 1832-1856. A brass plate at the base of the decoration on the left records this dedication.

There is similar painting on the wall surrounding the East Window.[1]

[Image 3] The painting (above the altar) is of The Institution of the Eucharist. The guide booklet tells us it differs both from the account of the Last Supper in the Bible, and from Leonardo da Vinci's painting, as here Christ is dressed as an Anglican priest, and his disciples are shown to be kneeling. The painting is believed to have been in a style suggested by Frederick, 6th Earl of Beauchamp (1830-1891), who was almost converted to Catholicism during a trip to Italy in 1855, but was dissuaded by his more Anglican brother Henry, 5th Earl Beauchamp.[1]

[Image 4] The organ was built by Nicholson of Worcester, and installed at Madresfield in 1867. The organ screen is of oak and painted with figures of 7 angels, each one playing a different musical instrument. It is set against the north wall of the Chancel.[1]

[Image 5] The pulpit is of Caen stone, and commissioned for the second church.[1]

[Image 6] This window depicts St Alban, St Michael the Archangel and St Martin of Tours, and is a memorial to 3 young men who died during the Boer War - Edward Hugh LYGON (1873-1900), Richard Fitzroy SOMERSET (1865-1899) and Granville William Richard SOMERSET (1862-1901), his elder brother.[1]

[Image 7] This view shows the church's distinctive wall-facings of grey Cradley stone, banded with red Alveley sandstone. Underneath the East Window is a carving of Christ on the cross, flanked by the figures of St Mary and St John. The carving is a memorial to the Revd. George MUNN, who was Rector of Madresfield for 49 years (between 1856-1906)[1]

[Image 8] The wrought iron canopy to the left of the porch covers a Well, now a listed monument. It was sunk in 1866 partly to provide water for the workmen to mix mortar for building the church, and partly to provide water for baptisms. Today, although water can still be seen in the bottom, through its iron grating cover, its use is purely ornamental.[1]

[Image 9] The font was a gift to the second church built at Madresfield in 1852, by John Reginald Pinder, 3rd Earl Beauchamp.[1]

[Image 10] Madresfield church has some very fine stained glass - this window in the Chancel is possibly one of Preedy's originals, and appealed to me because of its dramatic colouring.[1]

[Image 11] The Inscriptions read:[2]

We pray you remember in the LordWe pray you remember in the Lord
Ernest Gilbert MORRISFrank KNOWLES.
Harry George PREECEAllan KNOWLES.
 Alfred HURREN.
who died for King and Countrywho died for King and Country
in The Second World Warin the Great War
1939   19451914 -- 1918

[Image 12] The Board reads:

George DOWDESWELL, of the Parish of Madresfield
in this County, Esquire, did by his last will and Testa-
ment give and bequeath until the poor of this Parish,
Seventy-five Pounds for ever, the interest whereof to be im-
ployed in buying bread for the said poor, weekly to be dis-
posed of at this Church every Sunday, at the discretion of the
Minister and Churchwardens for the time being.

Thomas DALLEY bequeathed by will, dated Feby 23
1760, Ten Shillings a year for ever, charged on the Estate in
the Parish of Leigh, to be given in bread to the poor of Mad-
resfield upon Good Friday and St Thomas's Day.

The sum of Seventy-five Pounds left to the poor of
this Parish by George DOWDESWELL Esq. as stated
above, was in the year 1832 increased by the Revd.
Reginald PINDAR Rector, to One Hundred and
Fifty Pounds.

£179.4.5 Consols purchased with the above £150 was
transferred in the year 1859 to the names of the Right
Hon Henry Viscount ELMLEY and George Shaw
MUNN of Madresfield Worcestershire.[2]


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.


This Church is located at OS grid reference SO8048247474. You can see this on various mapping systems. Note all links open in a new window:


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 Madresfield, 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.


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 27 Dec 2020 - 14:06:22 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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