St Leonard's Church, Bridgnorth, Shropshire

St Leonards Close, Bridgnorth, Shropshire, WV16 4EJ
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Church currently closed due to COVID-19 restrictions
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A vast church with an explosive history

The proud red Gothic tower of St Leonard's dominates Bridgnorth's skyline. Surrounding it is an oval of charming houses, almost like a cathedral close. Inside, the church has the airy vastness of a cathedral - the size is breathtaking.

The width of the nave and aisles together is not much less than that of St Paul's Cathedral in London and as you walk in from the door under the tower you get an extraordinary sense of space being slowly revealed. Seemingly medieval, it is in fact almost entirely a Victorian restoration. This is because disaster struck during the Civil War when St Leonard's was used by Cromwell's troops as an ammunition store. A cannon shot caused it to explode, and fire swept through the town. The church was repaired, and in the seventeenth-century, the magnificent nave roof was installed.

Most of the current church dates from the nineteenth century building campaign under the Revd George Bellett, whose monument is in the church. The interior is beautiful - look out for the umbrella stands on the pews. All the woodwork, stained glass, tiles and stonework inside are of exceptionally high quality and there are a number of interesting memorials to well-known townspeople over the centuries. The most unusual are the four cast-iron monuments dating from 1692 to 1707, probably made at Richard Knight's ironworks nearby.

A contribution can be made towards the conservation at the church by texting BRI to 70970 to donate £5, or to 70191 to donate £10. Thank you for your support