The Collegiate Church of St Mary, Warwick

IMAG0032The Collegiate Church of St Mary, or rather the foundations thereof, date back to 1123 when they were laid by Roger de Beaumont, 2nd Earl Warwick.

It is located in the county town of Warwick, a mere stone’s throw from Warwick Castle, traditional home of the Earls of Warwick for many generations.

IMAG0030When de Beaumont also established a college of secular canons its ecclesiastical status was elevated to the point where it’s governance and religious observance were similar to that of a cathedral. But although there is a Bishop of Warwick, but it is merely an episcopal title coming under the aegis of the Diocese of Coventry.

IMAG0034Great parts of the church were extensively rebuilt in the 14th century by Thomas de Beauchamp (later anglicised to Beecham), a later Earl Warwick in the Perpendicular Gothic style

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The Beauchamp Chapel

His descendants later built the Chapel of Our Lady, more commonly known as the Beauchamp Chapel which houses monuments to Richard de Beauchamp, the 13th Earl Warwick, Ambrose Dudley the 3rd Earl Warwick and Robert Dudley, the 1st Earl Leicester

In the chancel of the church is William Parr, 1st Marquess Northampton, brother of the Queen Consort, Catherine Parr.

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The Memoriam to Robert Dudley

St Marys, along with much of Warwick, was devastated by the Great Fire of Warwick in 1694. The nave and tower of the building were completely destroyed. In 1704, the rebuilt church was completed in a Gothic design by William Wilson. The current tower rises to a very creditable height of 130 feet.

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Heraldic Symbols of Warwick, Warwick Castle

 

 

 

 

The only part of the building that remains of the original 1123 structure is the crypt beneath.

Unfortunately these pictures were all taken about two years ago, during a working visit to the area, on a camera phone and are not of the best quality. Enjoy anyway!

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