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St Laurence, Ludlow

St Laurence, Ludlow

  • Church Type:
  • Address: St Laurence, Ludlow, United Kingdom

Sometimes described as ‘the Cathedral of the Marches’, the building of today has evolved over more than eight hundred years.  St Laurence’s is architecturally distinguished, and has many artistic treasures: in stone, glass and wood. In 1540 the King’s agent John Leland described St Laurence’s as ‘Very fayre and large and richly adorned and taken for the fairest in all these quarters.’ In 1999, St Laurence’s was one of only 18 churches given a FIVE STAR rating by Simon Jenkins in England’s Thousand Best Churches. Though mostly rebuilt in the 15th century, parts of the present church date from an earlier rebuilding in 1199-1200. This replaces a Norman church, but the site had been a revered place since the Bronze Age when a burial mound was erected, later giving the prefix ‘lud’ to the place name Ludlow. The church has a cruciform plan, with a nave and chancel of equal length. Between them are two transepts and a huge bell tower, rising from the crossing. The church stands at the heart of the medieval town, with a large churchyard on the north side. St Laurence’s, one of England’s finest churches, was largely rebuilt in the fifteenth century in the soaring perpendicular style of the day, the church has features of the Norman, Early English and Decorated periods, including the delightful hexagonal south porch. It protects a remarkable collection of artistic treasures, including one of England’s largest collections of late medieval glass, 28 beautifully carved fifteenth century misericords and bench-ends, over 100 fine memorials and a world famous Snetzler organ.

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