West porch of Bengeworth Old Church
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1005299
Date first listed: 23-Jul-1963
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Wychavon (District Authority)
National Grid Reference: SP 04328 43485
Remains of the tower and west porch of the church of St. Peter, Bengeworth.
Reasons for Designation
A parish church is a building, usually of roughly rectangular outline and containing a range of furnishings and fittings appropriate to its use for Christian worship by a secular community, whose members gather in it on Sundays and on the occasion of religious festivals. Children are initiated into the Christian religion at the church's font and the dead are buried in its churchyard. Parish churches were designed for congregational worship and are generally divided into two main parts: the nave, which provides accommodation for the laity, and the chancel, which is the main domain of the priest and contains the principal altar. Most parish churches also possess towers, generally at the west end, but central towers at the crossing of nave and chancel are not uncommon and some churches have a free-standing or irregularly sited tower. The densest clusters of parish churches were found in thriving medieval towns. Parish churches have always been major features of the landscape and a major focus of life for their parishioners. They provide important insights into medieval and later population levels or economic cycles, religious activity, artistic endeavour and technical achievement. A significant number of surviving examples are identified to be nationally important. Despite partial demolition and invasive vegetation, the remains of the tower and west porch of the Church of St. Peter survive reasonably well and contain a number of architectural features of considerable interest. The proximity of this church to the broadly contemporary home of the priors of Evesham Abbey enhances the importance of the monument.
This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 20 May 2015. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records. As such they do not yet have the full descriptions of their modernised counterparts available. Please contact us if you would like further information.
This monument includes the remains of the tower and west porch of the Church of St. Peter situated on the west side of a redundant graveyard in Bengeworth, on the east of the River Avon. The monument survives as a church porch and the remnants of a tower that represent the only remaining features of a medieval parish church. The church was constructed during the 14th century of sandstone, blue lias and flagstone and the nave, chancel and most of the tower were destroyed in 1870. The porch is approximately 4.3m square in plan with stone coped gables on the eastern and western sides. The western gable is surmounted by a stone finial and stone corbels are situated on the northern and southern sides of a double pitched roof. Two stepped diagonal buttresses are situated at the west end and are surmounted by stone finials. The western archway is entered using three stone steps and is round headed with stone voussoirs and a shaped hoodmould with two wooden plank doors. Above the entrance arch are two stone gargoyles ether side of a blocked round headed arch. The eastern gabled elevation has a segmental arch that was the entrance to the tower and nave. The remains of the tower are denoted by masonry on the east facing wall including the remains of springers from a vaulted ceiling.
After the partial destruction of this church a new church of St. Peter was constructed approximately 175m to the north east (NGR: SP 0448 4356). This church contains monuments from the earlier parish church and the bells of the medieval church were also re-cast and fitted into the new tower.
Several burial vaults are located to the east but these are not visible and are not included in the scheduling as they have not been formally assessed.
The porch and tower is listed at Grade II.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: WT 255
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
Hancox, E. & Russell, O. 2009., Recent Changes to Scheduled Monuments in Worcestershire. Worcestershire Historic Environment and Archaeology Service.
Pastscape Monument No:- 328402
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing