“ In 2013, St Alkmund’s Church building in Whitchurch celebrated its 300th anniversary of being completed in its current form. Georgian churches are relatively rare in this country and St Alkmund’s is a wonderful example – spacious, full of light and with a sought-after acoustic. ”

The Revd Canon Dr Judy Hunt

Architectural History

The current St Alkmund’s church building (probably the fourth church on the site) was the first of Shropshire’s grand neo classical style churches and was built in 1712/13. Built of pinkish Grinshill sandstone with cream coloured base course and has a lead roof. The tower has four stages with balustrade and tall gadrooned urns. On the south side, the arms of the 5th Earl of Bridgewater are present, together a semi circular porch rebuilt in 1925. On the north side, there is a doorway with oculus over and a steep set of steps. A sweeping staircase leads to a balcony. The main body of the church has a high roof and good natural light.

Architectural Features

The body of the church is of six bays, plus a semicircular E apse. The windows are tall and round arched, originally all with small glass panes in cast iron frames. One of the windows in the north aisle contains fragments of medieval glass. The windows in the apse are signed by Warrington, 1860, and depict the Ascension between images of St Peter and St Paul. In the south aisle the Jacob window (1868), by Ward and Hughes, is found between two windows of the late 1840s, with Romanesque bandwork in geometrical patterns. Tall unfluted Doric columns carry segmented arches springing directly from their capitals. Until 1972, both aisles had timber galleries. The west gallery remains and is accessed by stairs from the north and south porches. The church has a flat ceiling: that of the nave set on a deep cove, and the apse with giant Corinthian pilasters, carrying pieces of architrave and frieze and featuring a demi-sunburst. In 1860, the aisle walls were lined with stone and the apse dado with marble.
In the Lady Chapel there is a monument to Lord John Talbot, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury. This consists of an early 16th Century stone effigy of a recumbent knight with Talbot hounds at its feet, made when the Earl’s remains were brought back from France and re-interred at Whitchurch. The legs of the effigy, the tomb chest and the ogee arch above are of 1874. Behind the organ, in the north aisle, under an elaborate cusped and crocketed arch, also 1874, there is a recumbent alabaster figure of Sir John Talbot, Rector of Whitchurch, whose will founded the local grammar school in 1550.

Filming Attributes

Whitchurch is situated at the junction of main trunk roads – the A41 and the A49. It is in North Shropshire, with the Cheshire and North Wales borders within a couple of miles. It is a market town with a population of approx. 10,000. Access is reasonable. Volunteers are used to hosting concerts and occasional recordings. There are car parking facilities that could be used to accommodate a unit base.

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Special Considerations

  • Accommodate Unit Base

Crew and Relevant Links

Contact

Email: rev.judy@btinternet.com

Phone: 01948 667253

Website: www.stalkmunds.com