Below is the Lady Chapel the only part of the old church of St Chad which remains standing after it collapsed one night in 1788. By the end of the 18th century the building was falling into disrepair and cracks had appeared in the tower, the famous engineer Thomas Telford warned that the church would collapse and not long after it did.
During the time of King Offa of the Mercians (757-96) there was a monastic college on this site whose church was dedicated to St Chad, the first Bishop of Mercia. In 1148 it was replaced by a much larger church. Below, open to the elements are the arches of the sedilia. The remains stand on an incline at the top of Milk Street just off Wyle Cop in the centre of the town.
A site was chosen, on a hill in the loop of the River Severn as it runs through the town, for a new church dedicated to St Chad and the foundation stone was laid on St Chad's day, 2nd March 1790. Stones from the old church were used in the foundations.
Charles Darwin famous naturalist and author of 'On the Origin of the Species' was baptised at the church in 1809 and attended services there with his mother, Susanna, daughter of the famous potter Josiah Wedgwood.
There were some fascinating grave stones in the church yard, I was amused by the name on the one above.
Some of them were very elaborate.
With their classical influences and designs.
Some were very plain, now who is buried here? Oh? never!
Ebenezer Scrooge? Bah, humbug! Well, no not really! The stone is a prop which was used during the filming of a TV adaptation of Charles Dickens's novel 'A Christmas Carol' in 1984. Apparently George C Scott was Scrooge and David Warner was Bob Cratchit. It is in fact a real stone of the correct period which had been so worn away that they were able to inscribe over it. If you look closely you can see the vague outlines of some writing on the bottom of the stone. I wonder whose stone it was?