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Website by                        Content © St Michael & All Angels Ledbury 2013 to 2017

Worshipping God

Following Jesus

Sharing His Love


8th Century    It is likely that Christian worship was first held on the site of the present church sometime during the 8th century when the Bishop of Hereford sent
a group of his clergy to establish a Christian presence.

11th Century The Domesday Book of 1086 tells us that there was a large and important Minster Church   here, a centre of mission to the whole area in the days before individual villages had their own parish church. Not all minster churches were monastic and Ledbury was never part of a monastic order. No trace of this church remains unless the bases of earlier columns in the north arcade date from this period.

12th Century  A new church was built. It was the same length as the church today as can be seen in that the west door and the chancel are both in the Norman style with rounded arches (the sections marked in black on the plan of the present church below). The church may have looked something like the drawing shown here.

13th Century  The separate tower dates from the first half of the 13th Century. Herefordshire has seven separate towers which may have been built as strongholds if danger threatened from Welsh invaders. The position may also have been chosen because with an ancient stream running under the church the foundations would not have been firm enough to take the weight of a tower at the west end.

14th Century   The "Chapter House" was built in 1330, either by the Benedictines of Hereford who were hoping to take over Ledbury church, or as a shrine to a local saint,   Katherine of Ledbury (who was never formally canonised).

15th Century   By this time the church had taken on the form in which we still see it today, with new higher arcades (columns), wider and higher aisles, and the timbered   roofs constructed.

16th Century  The Reformation would have led to great changes in he internal appearance of the church, with statues and paintings no longer permitted and much of the    colour of the Middle Ages lost.  

17th Century  The Civil War touched Ledbury in 1645 with a battle fought in the streets between Prince Rupert and the Roundhead leader General Massey.  Damage caused by musket shot to the old wooden church doors of the north porch can still be seen.

18th Century  The church was rather neglected during this period. There were complaints of the cold wind "making it uncomfortable for elderly people to attend their duties at the altar".

19th Century  A major programme of restoration brought new pews, many stained glass windows and a general improvement to the fabric.

20th Century  Restoration and improvements continued as the interior of the church was sensitively adapted to new forms of worship. Craftsmen and women continued to beautify the church through their work.

21st Century  The work continues, the most notable addition so far being the solar panels on the roof.


HISTORY OF CHURCH