St James the Great, Colwall

St James the Great, Colwall



  • Postcode: WR13 6HE
  • OS Grid Ref: SO 739 423
  • Road Ref: Mill Lane – 1 mile off B4218 (Walwyn Road)
  • Car Parking Available
  • Disabled Access
  • Refreshments – coffee shop, village shop, hotel and pub in Colwall village
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The church is situated a mile from the current housing settlement of Colwall in an area known as Old Colwall. At the time of the Doomsday Book it consisted of 23 households including an episcopal manor of the Bishop of Hereford.

The Norman church was started in the 12th century as evidenced by the main south doorway with its scalloped capitals and a round headed arch on the west front of the nave. The south aisle was added in the middle of the 13th century. The south west tower is unusually situated and houses ten bells with six dating from 1778. In 1865 the chancel was replaced and widened and in 1880 the north aisle was added. In 2010 the chancel was reordered.

Some notable features in the church include a fine 14th century timber framed roof with a tie beam inscribed 1675 with the initials of two churchwardens, pews in the north aisle bearing the words ‘Grocers School’ referring to the nearby Elms School built in 1612, a 13th century font, and a carved Jacobean pulpit with canopy. Memorials include a stone slab to Edward Walwyn of Brockbury 1587, another Walwyn member with the motto ‘doe well and fear not’ and a brass tablet to Elizabeth Harford 1590 facing her husband, six sons and four daughters.

Outside In the churchyard is the stump of an old preaching cross probably dating back to the 15th century, a war memorial garden and an early 16th century timbered framed Church Ale House renovated in 1989 for church and community uses.

Mary Sumner, founder of the Mothers’ Union now with a membership of over 4 million Christians in 84 countries, was married in the church in 1848.

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St James the Great, Colwall
St James the Great, Colwall
St James the Great, Colwall