St James Chapel - High Street, Warwick, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Master Mariner
N 52° 16.783 W 001° 35.445
30U E 596139 N 5793085
Quick Description: St James Chapel stands above the west gate leading into Warwick. The original chapel was built in 1126 and was used by travellers arriving in and departing from the town. It was rebuilt in 1386 when a tower was added and the entrance gate extended.
Location: West Midlands, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 5/4/2016 7:07:56 AM
Waymark Code: WMR2VY
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Dorcadion Team
Views: 2

Long Description:

The chapel of St James is Grade I listed with the entry at the Historic England website telling us:

Late C14, perhaps incorporating earlier structure and on the site of a gate extant from at least 1129. Extended west and west tower added early C15. A part of the medieval town defences. Ground floor has pointed arches either end of ribbed vault. First floor chapel extensively restored 1863-5 by G G Scott who redesigned the windows, rebuilt parapet walks, added flying buttresses and refurnished the interior.

The Lord Leycester website also tells us:

The original chapel was built by Roger de Newburgh, the second Norman earl of Warwick in 1126.  It was used by travellers departing from, and returning to, the town.  Roger’s wife died quite young and so it became a Chantry Chapel in which the priests celebrated the Mass for the repose of her soul.

Under a licence issued by King Richard II on 20th April 1383 was created the Guild of St George.  In 1386 Thomas Beauchamp, 12th Earl of Warwick, granted the benefice of the Chapel to the Guild and rebuilt it.  The tower was added and the gate underneath was extended.

Some time between then and 1413, the Guilds of the Holy Trinity and of the Blessed Virgin Mary, previously based at the Collegiate Church of St Mary, moved to the site and accommodation for the Guilds and the resident priests was erected together with reception, meeting and dining halls.  They became known as the United Guilds of Warwick.

In 1860 an extensive restoration was undertaken by Sir Gilbert Scott whose representative was summoned from his dinner in the nearby village of Barford by anxious townsfolk who feared that the chapel was about to collapse into the road beside it.

The town wall beside the West Gate was eventually demolished and the High Street now skirts the Chapel on the southern side rather than through the archway beneath it.

Building Materials: Stone

Visit Instructions:
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Recent Visits/Logs:
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The_Senior_Crabbes visited St James Chapel - High Street, Warwick, UK 8/28/2016 The_Senior_Crabbes visited it