A Brief History of Hallow Church
The first Churches in Hallow
The earliest church in Hallow was a small stone building on the bank above the River Severn. Nash, the Worcestershire historian, says that it had Saxon masonry over the north door. It was demolished in 1830 and the only remains of it are some flat stones surrounded by railings, marking its position in the Old Churchyard. The memorials taken from it are placed on the walls of the present church.
The second church (pictured here) was a building of plain and simple construction built on the same site in 1830 and only existed until 1869 when the present church was built.
The Present Church
Mr. W. Jeffrey Hopkins, a Worcester architect, designed the present church. It is built mainly of local sandstone brought from a quarry at Holt. It is a good examlpe of Victorian Gothic, in the style of the 13th - 14th centuries.
The Rt. Hon. Frederick, 6th Earl Beauchamp, laid the foundation stone on Tuesday, 5th March 1867. The Bishop of Worcester, the Rt Rev. Henry Philpott, D.D, consecrated the church on 4th May 1869.
The flying buttresses, which support the roof, are a notable feature of the design but these proved so costly to construct that it was not possible to build the tower until 1879. In that year donations were given for the erection of the tower to a height of of 67 feet. The church with it's completed tower is shown in the picture opposite.
The addition of the spire to the total height of 150 feet, and a peal of eight bells, chimes and clock of three dials completed the church in 1900. Mrs. Wheeley Lea gave all these in memeory of her husband Charles who died on January 13th, 1898 and who had been head of the firm Lea & Perrins, makers of Worcester Sauce. Among other benefactions of Mrs. Wheeley Lea, whose grave is just outside the south porch, were the original Church House, in the Avenue, Worcester, the Wheeley Lea ward of Worcester Hospital and in Hallow the property at the north end of the Green, now known as Lea House. This was intended to provide accomodation for a curate, the District Nurse and for a Working Men's Club.
The Church Bells
It is recorded that in 1552, the Old Church had "one steeple bell, a little sacrynge bell and a little lych bell." In 1740 there were said to be five bells. One had the inscription: "Cum tonat hoc signum, hostem fugat Anna malignum." ["Where this sign resounds Anna puts to flight the malignant enemy"], and was believed to have been cast at a foundry in Sidbury over 500 years ago. This bell was still in Hallow Church in 1900 but later it was removed to the new Church at Broadheath.
Messrs. Taylor of Loughborough cast the present bells. They have the following inscriptions:-
The bells were renovated in 1937 as part of the commemoration of the coronation of King George VI.
The canopied reredos was the gift of Earl Beauchamp, who at that time (1872) owned Hallow Park. It is of alabaster and marble with carvings in high releif of Christ on the Cross. the Blessed Virgin Mary, St John, Mary Magdelene and the other Mary. Over the canopy are figures typifying the angels of the seven churches from the Book of Revelation. The reredos is the work of the Worcester sculptor R. Boulton.
The Font is by Forsyth, another Worcester sculptor and was the gift of Mr. Charles Wheeley Lea. It has two small figure reliefs, one showing the baptism of Christ, the other Christ blessing the children. It also has small strips of ornamental tiling.
In 1968 the font was restored and an oak seat placed in the baptistery, in memory of Frederick Lionel Spalding, a well known physician, who was an Alderman and Honorary Freeman of Worcester and Mayor of the City during the Coronation year, 1953.
The Lady Chapel
The Lady Chapel, which is at the east end of the south aisle, was made from what had earlier been the choir vestry. It contains a window with Jesus and Peter with the inscription, "Jesus said unto him, feed my sheep." The window is in memory of Arthur Edward Lord, born 23rd January 1865, died 23rd July 1935.
The altar frontal is in memory of another of the Lord family, Mrs. Helen Marjorie Whitefoord.
At the back of the church is a bronze tablet preserving the names of men of Hallow who fell in the Great War of 1914-1918 and below it is a tablet in stone with the names of those who died in the War of 1939-1945.
Most of the memorials on the walls are taken from the old church. The most interesting is in the centre of the north aisle wall to Sir Charles Bell, who died in 1842 while on a visit to Hallow Park and whose grave is in the old Churchyard. He was an eminent surgeon who treated the wounded after the Battle of Waterloo. He made important discoveries in connection with the nervous system of the human body and gave his name to "Bell's nerve" and "Bell's palsy". He was one of the founders of the Medical School of Middlesex Hospital.
The memorial to Edward Hall, who died in 1616, is to be found in te Tower space, now used as a Choir Vestry and Sunday School. The memorial was described by Habingdon as the most important in the old Church.
Also under the Tower is the monument to Edward and Anne Bull (1700 and 1707) of Hallow Park. Anne Bull left a sum of £100 in her will to buy land as an endowment for teaching poor children of Hallow, Grimley and Madresfield " to read English and to learn the Church Catechism". This gift formed the nucleus for the endowment of a village school at Hallow in 1712 and it still forms part of the endowment of the present school.
Other memorials commemorate John Evett (1657) whose family held the Manor of Woodhall for many years and John Pardoe and his daughter Elizabeth Bund (1680) (a cartouche with a fruit and flower surround and a putto head at the top); and Richard Harrison (1795) (an urn witha coat of arns).
The Lychgate was erected in 1922 to the memory of Helen Julia Lord, by her husband and children.
The Church Plate
The Church Plate is chiefly modern, but includes a cup and paten of the seventeenth century.
The Church Registers go back to 1583. They contain the record of the burial of Sir Charles Bell and the baptism of William Richard Morris, later Lord Nuffield.
© Copyright 2010 Church of St Philip & St James, Hallow, Worcester, UK