St Mary's Church, Atherstone
|St. Mary’s Church, Atherstone|
St. Mary’s Church, Atherstone
|Denomination||Church of England|
|Diocese||Diocese of Coventry|
The ancient St. Mary’s Chapel located in Atherstone dates from the early 12th century, when the monks of Bec made a donation of 12 acres (4.9 ha) to a house of friars and hermits, later referred to as “Austin friars." According to Nichols, the chapel was granted to Henry Cartwright in 1542, then left abandoned and neglected until 1692, when Samuel Bracebridge settled a yearly sum for the parson of Mancetter to preach there every other Sunday in the winter season.
After this, St. Mary’s Chapel has experienced some form of revival. Its square tower was rebuilt in the fashionable “Gothic” style in 1782. This drastic alteration probably aroused some controversy, although the fine architectural drawing of the chapel made by Jacob Schnebbelie in 1790 prompted Nichols to assert that “the new tower provides a good effect." St. Mary's was further redesigned in 1849 by Thomas Henry Wyatt and David Brandon.
The chapel was restored to be used as a chancel in 1888.
The first record of an organ is in 1852, when an instrument by Holdich was installed. This was replaced in 1898, when an organ by Henry Jones and Sons was obtained from Christ Church, South Banbury. A specification of the organ can be found on the National Pipe Organ Register.
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- John Nichols Leicestershire Vol. IV, Pt 11, pp. 1038
- A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture 2000, Oxford University Press
- "The National Pipe Organ Register - NPOR". www.npor.org.uk.