St Laurence's Church, Ludlow

Ludlow was a "new town" laid out in the twelth century. A new parish was then created out of the parent parish of Stanton Lacy. The first known Rector was Geoffrey de Lacy (from papers of 1200). The original dedication was to three Apostles but within a short space of time this became a sole dedication to St Laurence, a third century Roman martyr who was roasted on a gridiron over a slow fire for refusing to surrender church treasures.

Only the font remains visible of the original pre-1199 church. The church was completely rebuilt in 1199 in the "transitional" style between Norman and Early English. The size of this church was a testament to the success of the town of that time.

By 1377 Ludlow was the thirty-third town in Britain and many important additions had been made to the church. A massive rebuilding took place between 1433 and 1471. As a result the chancel roof is now 52 feet high and the tower 135 feet.

The Palmers' Guild was founded in Ludlow in 1250 and was closely associated with the church. In the later Middle Ages the chapel of St John the Evangelist was the special chapel of the Guild.

The church has many celebrated stained glass windows, the finest of which is generally agreed to be the Annunciation or Golden Window.

The Palmers Window in St John's Chapel shows a version of the legend of King Edward the Confessor and St John the Evangelist. The story is told in eight panels and centres round the Ludlow Palmers making a pligrimage to the Holy Land

The information on this page has been extracted from the Historic Ludlow colour booklet entitled "The Parish Church of Saint Laurence, A History and Guide " by David Lloyd. The composer would like to thank Mr Lloyd. The booklet, which is available for purchase at the church, contains a wealth of information about the history and architecture of the church right up to the present day.

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