Salwarpe Church Facts
The original church building is of Norman origin (C1200), but it was enlarged to its present form in the 14th century and modernised in the 19th century. The floor tiles are oldest in the west end, but the Victorian reproductions have faithfully copied the original medieval designs. Some of them show the family crests of de Beauchamp, D’Abitot and Swynford.
The present tower dates from the 14th and 15th centuries, replacing a Norman one which stood in the western part of the nave over the large square piers. There are six bells, some 17th century in origin, which were recast and rehung as a Millennium project after many years of disuse.
A very recent addition to the west end of the North Aisle is the wooden structure containing a toilet and facilities for flower arranging and making tea and coffee. In keeping with tradition, it was built by a local craftsman and the wood is very much in harmony with the rest of the church.
The present seating in the church was donated by members of the Douglas family in 1885, when the church was ‘otherwise adorned and beautified’ by them. The carved wooden pulpit with two brass candlesticks dates from this time, as does the fine brass Lectern dedicated to the memory of the Reverend Henry Perceval.
The clock was installed in 1887 to celebrate the
Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria and still keeps
North and South Aisles
These also date from the 14th century and contain original recessed arches from that period which are extremely uncommon. They were probably intended for sepulchral monuments, though none have been placed therein. The font is positioned by the South Door and dates from the 16th century (Tudor), though the pedestal is modern.
The Churchyard contains several fine ‘Thuja gigantea’ trees grown from seed brought, in the late 19th century, by a member of the Douglas family from East Africa, where he had been a missionary. There is a Churchyard Cross on a stone base to the west of the path. The churchyard also has several old yews as well as a recently planted Millennium Yew - this cutting was taken from a 2,000 year old tree.
The 48 steps down to the River Salwarpe in the North West corner of the churchyard are known as Jacob’s Ladder and are very ancient. They were so worn that they were turned upside down on the orders of the Rector sometime in the 1800’s.
Built originally in 1884 by a local craftsman, the lychgate was restored in 1988.