Tamworth's parish church dates back to Saxon times 1,200 years ago when Tamworth was the capital of the kingdom of Mercia.

Tamworth was ransacked by the Danes in 874 and the church was left, 'A heap of blackened ruins'.

However, a new church was soon built, for in 925 Sigtrygg of Northumbria attempted to marry Editha, King Athelstan's sister, there. She was to become the patron saint of the church.

That said, in 943, another raid by the Danes left it destroyed. It was rebuilt by King Edgar in 963 although little remains there is, in its place, a great Norman church.

The original church was about the same length of the present as Norman stonework can be seen at East and Western ends. it was cross-shaped (cruciform) with a central tower supported by four great Norman arches, two of which still remain. It was believed to have been built under the guidance of Robert de Marmion, the King's champion and lord of Tamworth Castle but was again destroyed by fire on the 23rd May 1345 and was re-built by Baldwin de Witney



Click on the image above to take
a virtual tour of the building

 



The new building had a steeply pitched roof, later to be replaced by the celerestory windows that can be seen today.

The massive west tower boasts, in its North-West corner, a rare example of a double-helix staircase in which two flights of stairs wind one above the other around the central post.

The church is spacious and with its architectural, historical and art treasures it is regarded as one of the finest churches of its period in the country.

There are examples of William Morris' 'Arts and Craft' movement along with
pre-Raphaelite and other splendid windows. It also contains the world's only effigy of a secular mediaeval Dean.

In additioon to all the other treasures the church contains a Grade I listed organ, an instrument of great merit and a wonderful sound too.

Concerts and recitals regularly take place within the building providing opportunity for music lovers to enjoy this fine instrument (The next beng Oct 17, 2014).