Heritage Detectives: Sound & Art at St Swithun’s

N/A Voluntary role
St Swithun's Church, Worcester, Worcestershire

The Sound & Art at St Swithun’s project:

St Swithun’s is a Grade I listed church in Worcester city centre. No longer used for regular worship, the building is cared for by the Churches Conservation Trust (CCT). We are embarking on a two year project to repair and conserve St Swithun’s. Reopening in summer 2020 as Sound & Art at St Swithun’s, a venue for arts and music.   

The project is supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

St Swithun’s church:

St Swithun’s, rebuilt in 1734 is an elegant, perfectly preserved early Georgian gem. Inside, it is airy and open with box pews, a gallery and an attractive arched ceiling.

What will you be researching?

The monuments within St Swithun’s give us a direct link with those who worshiped, married or were buried at the church. You will explore these individuals, and help us understand more about their lives in 18th century Worcester.

For example…

  1. The pew plates reflect a high number of infant deaths. Four children of the Nott family died in 1733/34. What were the conditions at the time that led to this?
  2. Margaret Evans d. 1755 was a Spinster and Governess. Margaret is the only woman whose profession is mentioned, is there any information about her?
  3. Many professions appear in the monuments. What was life like in 18th century Worcester if you were a Tailor, Butcher, Grocer, Chandler, Woollen Draper, City Clothier, Apothecary, Tobacco Merchant, City Mercer?
  4. Samuel Swift d.  1717 and Joseph Withers d. 1741, prominent figures in Worcester’s civic life, and successful business men, had land holdings in the West Indies. What role did transatlantic trade play in financing St Swithun’s?

What will I be investigating, and how will my research be used?

Your detective work is likely to involve online research, trips to local archives and possibly visiting other museums and heritage sites.

Your research will be instrumental to the visual and audio interpretation visitors will encounter at St Swithun’s, created by our interpretation consultants, Pastporte.

How much time do I need to give?

We are flexible. There is no limit to the amount of time you can give. A few hours each week, or the odd weekend could really help.   

Do I need previous experience?

No! Most important is a curiosity about the past, and a desire to delve into in the history of the people, buildings religion and politics which have shaped Worcester. We will be providing archival research training in partnership with The Hive in Worcester.

What’s in it for you?

It’s a great opportunity to meet new people, enjoy an interesting and awarding experience, gain transferrable skills for your CV, and build contacts within the arts heritage sectors.

Roles are home based but could involve trips to archives and sites around Worcester. We can pay out-of-pocket travel costs and other reasonable expenses agreed with us.


For more information or to register your interest contact: Amelia Evans, Regeneration Projects Assistant, 07917 060536, [email protected]

Data Protection:

You may have access to data to enable you to carry out your role. You are required to process and/or use data and information supplied for your role in a fair and lawful way.  You are also required to hold data only for the specific registered purpose and not to use or disclose it in any way incompatible with such purpose.  If necessary to the role, volunteers will be provided with a full copy of the Trusts Data Protection Policy.

Photo credit: Andy Marshall

07917 060 536