The national charity saving historic churches at risk
We are delighted to invite you to meet staff and volunteers from The Trust at one or more of our Historic Church Tours. Our 2014 programme of tours includes a light lunch and travel to and from the named train station. You can book by telephoning our Supporter Line 0800 206 1463 or by completing the below form. Please note, it may be necessary to alter some of the details of the days, but we will advise guests of any such amendments as soon as possible.
Upon receipt of your booking and payment, we will send you a confirmation letter. Closer to the date of your chosen tour we will send a detailed timetable to you.
The town centre church of St Swithun, Worcester, patronised in the past by wealthy merchants is an early Georgian gem. The modest All Saints, Spetchley features spectacular monuments dedicated to local estate owners, the Berkeley family, as life-size figures in glorious 17th century costume. St Mary Magdalene, Croome, was built to be a focal-point in Capability Brown’s landscape design, housing opulent monuments to generations of the Coventry family.
Coach: Collects from Worcester Shrub Hill train station - 10AM Returns – 4PM
The medieval St Mary, North Cockerington, is notable for its box pews and morally-improving painted texts dating from the early 19th century. The charming Victorian church of St Helen, Little Cawthrope, was considered to be a model for parishes of modest means. All Saints, Haugham is an elegant church of 1840, set in the open country of the Wolds. Finally, St Martin, Waithe is a fascinating combination of 11th century Romanesque work and colourful Victorian Gothic restoration.
Coach: Collects from Grimsby Town train station – 10AM Returns – 5PM
The Church of St Peter and St Paul, Albury, is a flint-walled treasure set in Albury Park, contains a mortuary chapel designed by Pugin. St Mary, the parish church of Stoke D’Abernon, (Non CCT church, see their website) is home to fine brass memorials of early lords of the manor which are considered to be the oldest military brasses in England. Lumley Chapel (St Dunstan), Cheam is an ancient building remodelled in the 16th century by John Lumley as a burial place for himself and both his wives. Finally, the charming Tudor church of St George, Esher is built from a jumble of sandstone and brick.
Coach: Collects from Esher train station – 10AM Returns – 4:30PM
St Andrew, Wroxeter, displays various phases of construction incorporating building materials from the Roman town of Viroconium. St James, Stirchley, set a mile from the early industrial sites of Telford, is an intriguing church enlarged in the 18th century with red brick additions. St Leonard, Linley, a near-complete 12th century church, features Romanesque carvings of demonic masks and a mysterious green man. St Mary the Virgin, Shrewsbury dates from Saxon times and is the home to various features that span the breadth of time up to the 19th century.
Coach: Collects from Shrewsbury train station – 10AM Returns – 5:30PM
The predominantly Norman church of St Oswald, Kirk Sandall, is notable for its 16th-century chapel built as a memorial to William Rokeby, Archbishop of Dublin. Holy Trinity, Wentworth, which now serves as a mausoleum, has brass and stone memorials and alabaster effigies from the 16th and 17th centuries. Similarly St John, Throapham houses a beautifully carved stone coffin lid from 1300.
Coach: Collects from Doncaster train station – 10AM Returns – 4PM
The market-town landmark, Holy Trinity, Halstead set near the Suffolk Essex boarder, is a gothic revival church in Early English style built by Sir George Gilbert Scott. The secluded St Mary, Chilton, is home to lovely 15th-century glass fragments that escaped restoration as well as a chapel known as the Crane Chantry, with stunning monuments to Robert Crane, High Sheriff of Suffolk, and his two wives. Finally, St Peter, Sudbury dominates the town and is a largely 15th century structure with Victorian decoration and carved altar screen.
Coach: Collects from Colchester train station – 10AM Returns – 4PM
St Nicholas, Fisherton Delamere built in the 14th century was largely rebuilt in the Medieval style in the 19th century, using the original materials. Abandoned in the 1860s, St Leonard, Sutton Veny is now partially ruined but still contains interesting artefacts including benefaction boards and many elegant memorials. Finally, St Mary, Old Dilton, has exterior features dating mostly from the 15th century and the gallery north of the chancel was once used as a schoolroom.
Please note: this tour requires some walking!
Coach: Collects from Warminster train station – 10:30AM Returns – 4PM
St Mary Magdalene, Tortington features Norman carvings of monsters with beaks, tongues and squid-like tentacles that glare down at visitors and wayfarers alike. St Mary the Virgin, North Stoke enchants visitors as the light floods through very early and rare stained glass depicting the Virgin Mary. St Botolph, Botolphs, dedicated to the patron saint of wayfarers, welcomes visitors walking the South Downs Way nearby.
Coach: Collects from Arundel train station – 11AM Returns – 4:40PM
All Saints, Langport, built by a king’s mother, commemorates the deaths of two brothers who lived next to the church. At the dainty St Mary, Stocklinch Ottersey guests track the war records of the men who fought and came back, making it a truly ‘Thankful’ village. At golden stoned St Thomas, Thurlbear, we trace the story and untimely death of a Captain in the household cavalry who, to the last, remained an enigma.
Please note: This tour requires a 200m walk up a small incline to Stocklinch. This may not be suitable for those with mobility problems.
Coach: Collects from Taunton train station – 10AM Returns – 4PM
We are delighted to announce a collaboration between Villiers Park Educational Trust and The Churches Conservation Trust on a four day tour which will take place 2 - 6 June 2014 and includes a visit to St Nicholas' Chapel in King's Lynn which is in our care.
A major conservation project is currently being carried out at St Nicholas' and guests on the tour will be given a behind the scenes look at the work. Members of our annual givings schemes are offered a discount of £50.
Other tours offered by Villiers Park include: Medieval Churches, Monasteries & Cathedrals of the Fenlands, 16 - 18 May 2014; and Medieval Cambridge: History & Architecture, 5-7 September 2014.
For more information on the Villiers Park Educational Trust tours, download the brochure here.