A record of wildlife in my garden and various trips to the Warwickshire countryside and occasionally further afield.
"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."
From "Auguries of Innocence"
by William Blake
Friday, 8 September 2017
An Interesting Church - St Margarets
Heritage Week means there are several churches which, although usually locked, open their doors to visitors over one or more days. One of these is St Margaret's, Ward End, Birmingham, so yesterday afternoon I went along to take a look.
There has been a church on the site since 1517 when a Chapel of Ease linked to SS Peter and Paul, Aston, was built by the Lord of Ward End. It appears the church may have suffered neglect after the Reformation and became derelict. The present church was built in 1834. It closed its doors in 2005 and in 2010 St Margaret's Community Trust was formed and organised a restoration of the building which was completed in September 2014 and cost over £1 million.
The Trust was formed both for the refurbishment and re-development of the old church and to create a multi purpose community centre there to provide care and support for residents of the local area. The Unity Hub is based at the church which includes the main hall and meeting room which are available for public hire and it also offers projects and services to the local community.
The main gate and door to the church looked locked initially so first of all a walk round the small churchyard which has several 19th century graves.
The first burial in the churchyard was Ann Williams - a servant for 5/6 years to the Reverend George Croft whose youngest daughter is buried in the same grave.
A simple wooden cross marks this grave and
on this one a tree has self-seeded.
The door at the side of the tower provided the entry into the church and I was lucky enough to be given a very informative tour. (Sadly there was no sign of cake although I gather from someone who also visited the same day that it was available possibly earlier!).
The church contains two Burne-Jones windows - both from the William Morris school and made in 1902 - Charity and The Good Shepherd.
A window depicting the shepherds' visit to the tables.
Monuments dedicated to the Heath family who are buried in a vault under the church.
Monument to Solomon Bray - the first Clerk of Birmingham - also buried in a vault beneath the church.
Monument for Land Agent John Harris who had associations with the 3rd Lord Calthorpe
The most notable memorial is the William Hutton Memorial. It was installed under instructions in the will of Samuel Hutton - William's great nephew. A few members of the Hutton family are buried in the church vault.
William Hutton was an English poet and historian. He was born in Derby and moved to Birmingham in 1750 where he opened a paper warehouse and published a "History of Birmingham" in the 1780's. His main residence was in Birmingham city centre but he built a country house in Bennett's Hill in nearby Washwood Heath (William would not recognise the area today which has now been totally developed with houses, shops and factories). It is generally believed he was the first person in more modern times to walk the whole length of Hadrian's Wall - in fact he walked to the Wall from Birmingham and back too!
The bust on the monument is believed to be a good likeness of William and the marble books represent some of the books he wrote e.g. History of Birmingham and the History of Derby.
The East Window by Birmingham artist Claude-Price is stunning. It was installed in 1953 and is dedicated (as is the church) to the Holy and Undivided Trinity, The Blessed Virgin Mary and St Margaret of Antioch. The original three East windows were damaged by a bomb during World War 2.
You can see St Margaret's church in this close-up - the deer symbolise a deer park that once surrounded the building.
Window dedicated to St Paul.
Monument in memory of Jesse Bartleet and his wife Sarah. He was a Birmingham solicitor who gave money for bread to be distributed to the poor in the hamlet of Ward End.
Monument dedicated to choristers of the church who lost their lives in World War 2
Monument to Edward and Eliza Tebbutt and their 3 sons.
Royal coat of arms of King William IV and his wife Queen Adelaide.
Many thanks to Keith for the very enjoyable and informative tour of the church.
Reference: Leaflet on the artefacts and monuments within the church.
Welcome to my blog. I have been interested in natural history from an early age and we have tried to create a garden attractive to wildlife. I also enjoy reading, photography, collecting fossils, visiting historic buildings and gardens and supporting Aston Villa. Please feel free to leave a comment and, if you would like to email me, my email address is ciraggedrobinsATgmail.com - remember to replace AT with @. Thank you for visiting.