After leaving Lord Leycester's Hospital we had a wander round the town.
We couldn't find an independent cake shop so ended up buying some sweets to take home from one of those delightful "olde worlde" sweet shops.
The Collegiate Church of St Mary
As we walked past the church we noticed it was the last day of the Shakespeare 400 Exhibition and to my amazement D agreed he would like to take a look. Normally when I visit a church mentioned in the Jenkins' 1000 best churches book I do a bit of homework beforehand so I know the important features to look for but as I didn't think we would visit I hadn't bothered. To make matters worse we only had 30 minutes before the church closed :( (I really should have remembered the church contained the superb Beauchamp Chapel as I managed to leave this part until the last few minutes).
The church was founded in 1123. The chancel is 14th century and the nave and 174 foot tower were rebuilt in 1704 after they were destroyed in the Great Fire of Warwick in 1694.
Fragments of Medieval Stained Glass
To mark the 400th Anniversary of William Shakespeare's death the church has been holding an exhibition which contains one of only 274 copies of the First Folio of his plays and a First Edition of the King James Bible (commissioned by James I in 1604 and published in 1611). Unfortunately I couldn't get a photo of the bible as there was always someone studying it.
Tomb of Thomas Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, and his Countess, Katherine daughter of Roger Mortimer, Earl of March. The figures are made of alabaster. The small figures round the side of the tomb are known as "weepers".
The Norman Crypt dates back to 1123 AD and contains one of only two surviving ducking stools in England.
The 14th century Chapter House is dominated by the black marble tomb of 1st Lord Brooke, Sir Fulke Greville, who restored Warwick Castle in the early 17th century. His ghost is said to haunt the Watergate Tower.
The Beauchchamp Chantry Chapel said to be the finest medieval chapel in England.
The chapel was built between 1442 and 1460 as the Chantry Chapel for Earl Richard, son of Earl Thomas II according to instructions in his will. The effigy on the tomb is made of gilded bronze and the tomb below is made of Purbeck marble. The figures around the tomb represent the Earl's relatives. Richard Beauchamp (1382 - 1439) was a Knight of the Garter, Captain of Calais, Friend of King Henry V and guardian of King Henry VI, Lieutenant General of France and the Duchy of Normandy, Custodian of Rouen Castle during the imprisonment of Joan of Arc.
The tomb of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester (1533-1588) and Lettice, Countess of Leicester (his third wife). Robert Dudley was the 5th son of John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, a Favourite of Queen Elizabeth I, Knight of the Garter, Privy Councillor, Knight of the Order of St Michael, Master of the Horse, Holder of Kenilworth Castle.
The tomb of Robert Dudley, the Impe. He was Robert's one and only son and died in infancy in 1584.
Tomb of Ambrose Dudley (1528-1590), Earl of Warwick
The font dates back to 1704 and
the pulpit was presented to the church by local Freemasons to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria.
I hope to return to the church one day and spend a couple of hours there after I have read the guide thoroughly. I also must go back to Kenilworth Castle as they have created an Elizabethan garden since my last visit.
*D photos taken by D with the Canon SX50
Reference: Various Guides to the Church of St Mary, Warwick
38 minutes ago