St Bartholomews Church in Grimley

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Reverend Latham, vicar of the church from - 2018, visited our school and told us that the church was not built all at the same time but built in parts, one quite a long time ago and the other, sometime after. 

St Bartholomew’s is a Norman church and is dedicated to St Bartholomew and celebrated its 800th anniversary in 1979. Before the stone church was built, there would have probably been a wooden structure in its place. The main body of the church, including the north aisle, would have been built in the 1100s. The church would have been quite box-shaped then and very likely would not have had the tower in place. The oldest part of the church dates back to the 12th century. If you look at the entrance porch to the right you may notice the old window now filled in. The Chancel was built a century later and the alter was built even later in the 14th Century.  It is possible that the tower was built after the alter but the bells were in place around 1400s.  There is a ring of six bells.  The tenor bell is the oldest, cast in a Worcester medieval foundry in 1482. The tower was rebuilt in the Victorian times and in 1845  the unusual Normal porch was added along with a balcony and cladding to the stone work.  they probably put in the organ too.

If you look inside the church you may observe thick and thin stone walls. The narror layer of stones lies upon a deep layer.  This was probably the case because people had to try and even out the structure of the building.  The furniture in the church today was made and given by Phillip Bullocks who was Church Wardon for St Bartholomews church for many years.

There are three stained glass windows in the church.  One shows a saint recieving a Paten and Chalice, the other shows the Lord God Almighty blessing the universe and the third shows the Annunciation with the Virgin Mary and the Angel Gabriel. One is newer than the other two can you spot which one it is?

In 1537, when the church was Catholic based, there would have been medieval paintings hanging inside. However, King Henry VIII, on changing the church from Catholic to Church of England, had the paintings taken down as he wanted nothing to do with the Catholic religion. In addition, King Henry VIII created the rule that the King/Queen’s coat of arms would be hung in every church alongside the Ten Commandments and the Lord’s Prayer.  Can you see these in St Bartholemews?  Which Kings Coat of Arms can you see?

Hung in the church there are hatchments.  These are large tablets, typically diamond shaped, bearing the coat of arms and is a status of wealth.  Initially the hatchment was hung on the front of the house of the wealthy person who had died and then brought to church after mourning or burial had taken place.  The hatchments in St Bartholomews could well be to do with Thorngrove house or Sinton Court.

For the names of those who died in WW1 and WW2 please see the following links.  A memorial to them is in St Batholomews Church

IMG 0504In the grounds outside the church there is a tomb belonging to Sir Samuel White Baker who lived at Thorngrove in Grimley.  Can you find it?  He was a famous Victorian explorer known for establishing the source of the Nile tributaries in Africa.  In recognition of his work he was awarded a gold medal from the Royal Geographical Society and was also knighted in August 1866.
In the churchyard you should also see an ancient preaching cross, listed as being of great historical interest and prptected by the Department of the Environment.



Ofsted Outstanding 3D

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