Shrewsbury Unitarian Church

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Shrewsbury Unitarian Church
Shrewsbury Unitarian Church.jpg
52°42′26″N 2°45′12″W / 52.7073°N 2.7533°W / 52.7073; -2.7533Coordinates: 52°42′26″N 2°45′12″W / 52.7073°N 2.7533°W / 52.7073; -2.7533
OS grid reference SJ4912
Country England
Denomination Unitarian
Founded 1662
Heritage designation Grade II listed

Shrewsbury Unitarian Church is a Grade II listed building[1] situated on the High Street in Shrewsbury, England. The meeting house was founded in its present site in 1662 by the Revd Francis Tallents and the Revd James Bryan, two dissenters ejected from their living at St Chad's Church, Shrewsbury. It was destroyed by a mob of Jacobite supporters in 1715 but rebuilt the same year.

In 1798, Samuel Coleridge[2] accepted the position of minister at the church, (salary £120 a year) and the effect of his first sermon is recorded by the 19-year-old William Hazlitt from Wem. Arriving in Shrewsbury at 8 p.m. on Saturday January 13th, he preached his first sermon on January 14th with two others on January 21st and 28th allowing him to leave Shrewsbury on January 29th for Cote House, the home of John Wedgewood at Westbury near Bristol. Coleridge's stay in Shrewsbury was just over two weeks before being offered £150 a year from Thomas Wedgwood to give up his position and study poetry and philosophy.

Charles Darwin worshipped at the church until he was eight years of age when his mother died in 1817.

The whole building was rebuilt on its present site in 1839-40 by local architect, John Carline, Jnr[3] with money provided by George the First's government.[citation needed]

The town plan of 1882 shows it had a small courtyard, which was removed when the High Street was widened, and that it seated 350 people. In 1885 its present stone façade was made designed by another local architect, A.B. Deakin.[3]


  1. ^ "Unitarian Church, Shrewsbury". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  2. ^ Holmes, Richard (1990). Coleridge Early Visions. Penguin. p. 178. ISBN 0 14 012440 3. 
  3. ^ a b Pevsner, Nikolaus (2005). The Buildings of England: Shropshire. Yale University Press. p. 534. ISBN 0-300-12083-4. 

External links[edit]