St Mary Magdalene’s Church, Launceston Cornwall


Launceston, St Mary’s Church
c.1911
Publisher: Francis Frith & Co

Google Street View.

St Mary Magdalene in Launceston is the most impressive and beautiful late medieval church in Cornwall, featuring superb carved detail on the exterior and a wealth of historic memorials and woodwork inside. In 1353 Edward, the Black Prince, was named Duke of Cornwall. Around 1370 Edward built a chapel a short distance from Launceston Castle. All that remains of that 14th-century chapel is the imposing west tower of St Mary Magdalene church, built of Polyphant stone, 20 feet square at the base and rising 70 feet to an embattled top. The tower was originally used as a watchtower, with a single bell to warn of attack, not to call worshippers to service.
Britain Express

The intricately worked granite blocks, which give the church its unique carved exterior, were originally intended for a mansion at Trecarell, Trebullett for Sir Henry Trecarell. The reason for this is said to be due to his infant son drowning in his bath and the grief-stricken Sir Henry switched the stone to ecclesiastical use as he decided to build the church instead. How true this story is, is open to conjecture, but what is most certain is that the present church owes its existence to Sir Henry. (Although widely called Sir Henry, there is no record of him actually being knighted). This was in 1511 and was to be the third church dedicated to St. Mary Magdalene on this site which at that time contained the Parochial Chapel of the Blessed Mary Magdalene of the 14th century along with tenements which were attached to the said chapel. These were purchased and removed so that the site was free for the new construction. As previously mentioned the present tower survives from one of the earlier churches, being built by Edward the Black Prince, who became the first Duke of Cornwall in 1337 and whose capital was Launceston. This explains the fact that the body of the church is not directly connected with its tower, which indeed is on a different line. Between them lies what is now the choir vestry, but at one time, there were two cottages between the church and the tower.
Launceston Then

The church of St Mary Magdalene was built in the early 1500s, but inside the Victorians have left almost nothing from the original period. The pulpit is one of the few survivals. It was covered with pitch during the civil war and only restored as to its current condition in 1970. The chancel screen is designed by Edmund H Sedding and carved by Violet Pinwill. It dates from 1911 and depicts eleven saints with Mary Magdalene at the centre.
Reed Design.includes panorama)

Loch and Church, Kilconquhar


Kilconquhar Loch and Church
Postmarked 1907
Publisher: M. Wane & Co, Edinburgh

Google Street View (location)

Today’s Kilconquhar is dominated by the imposing Kilconquhar Parish Church which stands in its raised churchyard at the west end of the village’s main street. This is fitting, because it seems that the name and the origin of Kilconquhar both relate to the church. Placenames beginning “Kil” are usually associated with very early churches, and the name of Kilconquhar probably comes from the Gaelic Cill Conchubair meaning the church of Conquhar or Connacher. The theory is that an early Christian missionary of Irish origin established a chapel here, perhaps in the 600s, which over the centuries developed into the church known to have been bestowed on the convent in North Berwick in 1200.

Although Kilconquhar has effectively been built along the north shore of Kilconquhar Loch, it comes as a surprise to find that the loch is virtually inaccessible, even almost invisible, from the village. The sign outside the Kinneuchar Inn suggests the loch was once used for curling in winter, and these days it is a Site of Special Scientific Interest. It is also an oddly difficult stretch of water to discover much about.

Undiscovered Scotland

This cruciform church was built between 1819 and 1821, adjacent to an earlier church (site 1232). It was designed by Richard Crichton and built by R and R Dickson. The church is situated on high ground in the centre of the village, overlooking Kilconquhar loch to the south. The graveyard, which is still in use, surrounds the church. The oldest stones are found around the old parish church to the east of the present church which it predates, and there are some interesting eighteenth century memorials towards the south east corner.
POWiS (Places of Worship in Scotland)

By 1818 the old Church was in need of repair and enlargement so it was decided to build a new church big enough to accommodate 900. The plan of the church being built at the time at Cockpen in the parish of Dalkeith was adopted and was not to cost more than £2500. The perspective view of the new Church from 1819 prepared by Messrs R & R Dickson, Edinburgh Architects can be seen in the Church’s North Hall. Before the building was completed the plans were enlarged to seat 1035 and the heritors were canny enough to save money by using as much of the old building as possible. They also needed to take down the old church as the space was needed to accommodate the new building. The building is a cruciform design with a clock and bell tower at the west end and was opened on 12th August 1821. It more or less came in on budget at £2761, the additional cost due to the changes to the design. In 1900 the chancel at the east end was added along with the organ, the communion tables and chairs.
East Neuk Trinity

Lychgate & Church, Mortehoe, England


Morthoe Church & Lychgate
c.1910
Publisher: Francis Frith, Reigate

Google Street View.

St Mary Church in Mortehoe is very much the village focal point being a much photographed and loved part of the village. The original Norman Church was a very simple rectangle shape and over the years has undergone numerous additions, now having the status of a listed building. The church itself was built in the 13th Century, and is considered to be a good example of a Norman Church with a barrel roof and Norman architecture. The pew ends in St Mary’s are quite stunning, as they are all carved depicting different symbols or scenes.
Woolacombe & Mortehoe Voice

Lych-gate to Mortehoe Parish Church 1886 by Edward Burgess. Scantling slate roof with slightly swept up hipped ends and shaped rafter ends, supported on 4 timber posts with short curved braces to each face which sit on wooden wall plates on low rubble walls. Wooden gate of 2 leaves, each leaf of 6 panels, the lower panels are blind with pierced crosses, the upper panels open with marginal slats also pierced with crosses. 5 wide slate steps to front. Large iron lamp bracket in situ.
Historic England

Westminster Abbey, London


Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey, formally titled the Collegiate Church of Saint Peter at Westminster, is a large, mainly Gothic abbey church in the City of Westminster, London, England, just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is one of the United Kingdom’s most notable religious buildings and the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English and, later, British monarchs. The building itself was a Benedictine monastic church until the monastery was dissolved in 1539. Between 1540 and 1556, the abbey had the status of a cathedral. Since 1560, the building is no longer an abbey or a cathedral, having instead the status of a Church of England “Royal Peculiar”—a church responsible directly to the sovereign. According to a tradition first reported by Sulcard in about 1080, a church was founded at the site (then known as Thorn Ey (Thorn Island)) in the seventh century, at the time of Mellitus, a Bishop of London. Construction of the present church began in 1245, on the orders of King Henry III.
Wikipedia.

Official Website


London. Westminster Abbey.
c.1910
Publisher: Pictorial Postcard Company

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St Nicholas Church, Bramber, England


Bramber Church
1900s
Publisher: Valentine

Google Street View.

Images on Wikimedia Commons

When William de Braose, one of William the Conqueror’s most powerful barons, built Bramber Castle shortly after the Norman invasion, he also built a church, making St Nicholas the oldest Norman church in Sussex. Though the castle is in ruins today, the church is very much in existence and stands immediately downhill of the castle gatehouse on a slope looking out over the village.
Britain Express

Built in the later C11 for a college of priests, it was parochial by 1250. It was originally cruciform, though small for this plan, and the capitals on the western crossing arch are C11. It was ruinous in the C17, but the tower and crossing were rebuilt in the C18 as a chancel and it was again altered in 1931. . .  All the arches were repaired on one or other occasion, with new abaci for all capitals, and the roofs were boarded.  In 1960 the eastern arch was found to be of brick, so it may be entirely C19.  Stencilled decoration inside has not survived.
Saxon Parish Churches

Great Yarmouth Minster, Great Yarmouth, England


Yarmouth Church
Publisher: Valentine

Google Street View.

The Norman-era Minster Church of St Nicholas in Great Yarmouth remains, due to its floor-surface area (2752 m2), England’s third largest parish church, behind Beverley Minster in East Yorkshire (3489 m2) and Christchurch Priory in Dorset (2815 m2). It was founded in 1101 by Herbert de Losinga, the first Bishop of Norwich,[2] and consecrated in 1119. Since its construction, it has been Great Yarmouth’s parish church. It is cruciform, with a central tower, which may preserve a part of the original structure. Gradual alterations effectively changed the form of the building. Its nave is 26 feet (7.9 m) wide, and the church’s total length is 236 feet (72 m).
Wikipedia.

Church, Glastonbury, England


c.1910

Text reads:
THE FIRST CHRISTIAN CHURCH IN BRITAIN.
(GLASTONBURY)
“St. Phillip, willing still further to spread abroad the Gospel, chose out twelve from his disciples to preach the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, and over each he extended his right hand most devotedly, and sent them into Britain to declare the Word of Life ; over whom, as it is reported, he set Joseph of Arimathaea, a most dear friend, who also had buried the Lord. . . . These holy men thus dwelling in this desert place, were, in a little time, admonished in a vision by the Archangel Gabriel, to build a Church in honour of the Blessed Virgin, in a place to which they were supernaturally directed ; obedient to the divine precept they immediately built a chapel of the form of that which had been shown them ; the walls were of osiers wattled together all round. This was finished in the one-and-thirtieth year (A.D. 64) after our Lord’s Passion, and though rude and misshapen in form, was in many ways adorned with heavenly virtues ; and being the first Church in this region, the Son of God was pleased to grace it with particular dignity, dedicating it Himself in honour of His Mother.”
[Extract from Malmesbury’s account of the first Christian Church in Britain].

Keighley Shared Church/St Andrew, Keighley, West Yorkshire


Keighley Parish Church
1900s
Publisher: W. Ritchie & Sons (“Reliable series”)

Google Street View (approximate)

A charter of 1168 is the first written evidence of St Andrew Church, Kichalaie (Old English for Keighley) though records go back to the 9th century when monks living in the Minister at Otley served in Keighley. The first church buildings date from the 12th Century and have been replaced several times culminating in the present St Andrew, completed in 1848. The well-established churchyard includes a gravestone dated back to 1690. As Keighley’s industry grew so the town centre church expanded. The relatively modest sized St Andrew’s church was demolished in 1805 and the present larger church was built.
Diocese of Leeds: the Parish of Keighley, p.5

The population of Keighley grew as a market town from the Black Death until the Industrial Revolution in line with the rest of the population of England. The increase in population meant that the medieval church was not large enough. It was blown up in 1805, and a new building erected in 1807. Unfortunately the roof was badly built, so that in 1843 the building had to be demolished and the present building erected in 1848.
Explore Churches

St. Olave’s Church, York


St. Olave’s Church, York
c.1910
Publisher: Valentine

Google Street View (approximate).

St Olave’s Church was founded by Siward, Earl of Northumbria, and is where he was buried in 1055. The church is dedicated to St Olaf of Norway.
St Olave’s is the first church in the world to be dedicated to St Olaf, the former warrior King of Norway, who converted Norway to Christianity and died in battle in 1030. Olave is the old English Spelling of Olaf. The church was given after the Norman Conquest to a group of Benedictine monks who built beside it St Mary’s Abbey, one of the greatest monasteries of medieval England. The ruined nave of the abbey church now forms the boundary to St Olave’s beautiful churchyard.

St Olave’s Church was rebuilt in the fifteenth century but was badly damaged when used as a gun platform during the siege of York in the Civil War (1644). The church was restored in the early eighteenth century. In 1887-9 the east end of the church was extended by the addition of a chancel, and enlarged in 1908. It incorporates the fifteenth century east window. The church is built of magnesium limestone in the perpendicular style. Some original medieval stone can be found in the tower structure.
St Olave’s Church