648/22/317 CHURCH OF HOLY TRINITY
DATES OF MAIN PHASES, NAME OF ARCHITECT:
C12 church with C15 tower; additions of the 1830s; restoration and enlargements of 1887.
MATERIALS: Squared sandstone, with rubble stone to the nave and chancel, tile roofs. North aisle of brick with slate roof.
PLAN: Aisled nave with lower and narrower chancel, south-west tower and north-east organ chamber.
EXTERIOR: The Perpendicular 3-stage tower has set-back buttresses in the lower 2 stages, and an embattled parapet. In the lower stage is a blocked chamfered south doorway and 3-light west window. The second stage has a west clock-face and small south window, and in the upper stage are 2-light bell openings. The tower projects in front of the nave west wall, which has a C12 doorway relocated here in 1831 from the north wall when the aisle was built. It has nook shafts with foliage capitals, and round arch with chevrons. Above it is a C19 4-light Perpendicular window that appears to have replaced C13 lancet windows. On its left side one C13 window, with billet frieze on the label, has survived (another is visible internally, blocked by the tower). The south aisle has three 2-light Decorated windows of 1869 and pair of C13 cusped lights in the east wall, which are offset from the centre and show that the aisle was originally narrower. The north aisle is 3 buttressed bays with pointed windows, of which the outer bays retain Gothic iron-frame glazing bars. The aisle was extended westwards in ashlar in 1836 by building a 2-bay buttressed Tudor-Gothic school room with moulded eaves cornice. It has 2-light square-headed north windows. Its west front comprises 3-light Perpendicular window over a studded door under a square label, with carved spandrels, and is intended to balance the tower on the south side of the nave. The chancel has diagonal buttresses. In the south wall are 2 large single-light windows and a low priest's doorway with large lintel. The 3-light east window has cusped ogee lights, and on the north side is one 2-light Decorated window. The organ chamber has a parapet concealing the roof, and obscures a blocked east doorway in the north aisle.
INTERIOR: The tower has C15 north and east arches with continuous hollow mouldings and semi-circular responds. The embrasure of a C13 west window is obscured by the stair turret. In the outer north-east angle looking into the nave is a statue niche under an ogee canopy. The 3-bay late C12 south arcade has round piers, scalloped capitals and stepped round arches. The north arcade is an 1887 copy of the south. The wide chancel arch is C19, with semi-circular responds, stepped arch and label with billet frieze. The nave roof is mostly medieval work but was restored in the C19, and includes richly carved beams and braces. Three trusses on corbelled posts have tie and collar beams, of which the latter are strengthened by arched braces. Alternate collar-beam trusses are closed with blind tracery above the collars. The south-aisle roof of 1928 has tie beams with raking struts, on corbelled brackets. The north aisle has a canted plaster ceiling with moulded ribs, and moulded cornice on the south side only. The chancel roof is a canted boarded ceiling with 2 castellated tie beams and similar detail to moulded cornices. Walls have been stripped of plaster. Nave and aisle floors have stone paving, black and red tiles, and grave slabs in the nave of the period 1700-1845. Beneath the benches are wood-block floors. The chancel is stone-paved.
PRINCIPAL FIXTURES: The plain round font bowl is on a stem of 4 clustered shafts, and is possibly C13. Benches of 1887 have ends with fielded panels. Also of this date is the panel pulpit on a stone base. Choir stalls were designed by Walter and Florence Camm and made in 1925 by R. Bridgeman & Sons of Lichfield, and also have fielded panels to ends and fronts, while 2 have misericords. The sanctuary has a panelled dado and the communion rail has trefoil-headed arches. In the north aisle is a Hanoverian Royal Arms of the C18. The chief memorial is a large Jacobean wall monument in the chancel to John Hanford (d 1616), probably by Samuel Baldwin. It shows husband and wife kneeling and facing each other across a table, on a chest with weepers, and framed by a round arch, outer Corinthian columns, entablature and achievement. There are other wall tablets of the C18 and C19, including to Christianus Kenrick (d 1711) and Flock Kenrick (d 1746) by Richard Squire. Several windows have stained glass. The east window, 1925 by Florence Camm for Thomas William Camm of Smethwick, shows the Nativity. The same firm made the south-west chancel window showing St Cecilia, but incorporating C14 fragments, in 1937, and the Annunciation in the south aisle east window, of 1929. The chancel south-east window shows St Hilda and St George, 1923 by Stanley Watkins of Ealing. Two windows of 1969 are by Joseph Nuttgens, showing crucifixion and resurrection in the chancel north window, and Holy Trinity in the north aisle.
HISTORY: The church has a C12 core of nave, south aisle and chancel. The tower was added in the C15. The north aisle was added in 1831 to plans by Richard Hope of Pershore. It was extended in 1836 by addition of a vestry and school room. The south aisle was widened, with new windows, in 1869. Major works in 1887 included building the present chancel arch and north-aisle arcade, and restoration of nave and chancel roofs. The contractor was Thomas Collins of Tewkesbury. The organ chamber was added in 1908. The south aisle roof trusses were built in 1928 by Francis Andrews, architect of Birmingham, contractor Phelps and Johnson of Worcester.
N. Wilkes, History of Eckington, 1996, pp 40-58.
A. Brooks and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Worcestershire, 2007, pp 278-79.
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The church of the Holy Trinity, Eckington, is listed at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:
* It has surviving C12 work of special interest, including nave arcade and south doorway.
* It has later medieval work of interest, including the tower and the nave roof.
* It has fixtures of special interest including a large Jacobean monument, C18 memorials and Royal Arms.