Little Malvern Priory

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Only the tower and chancel are left of what was once a substantial building. The building dates from around 1125 and was a Benedictine priory with 10-12 monks. The priory church was extended in the C15th when transepts and side chapels were added. Little is known about its history. The Prior’s House next to the church is now a private home.

The church sits under the Malvern Hills and is surrounded by farmland. It is reached through an attractive graveyard which was covered with cyclamen, daisies, buttercups, lesser celandine, primroses and Spanish bluebells.

The church is tiny with bare stone walls and C19th plaster ceiling. It is very tall and narrow with clerestory windows adding to the height. Propped up on the south wall in the nave are the remains of C14th tomb bases with weepers and shields. On the walls are funeral hatchments.

The organ is above the west door with the Royal Coat of Arms.

The rood screen is C14th. Beyond are the original choir stalls which have lost their misericords, which were hacked off by the Parliamentarians. The arm rests were left, probably as they were non-religious carvings.

There is a carved wood altar rail in front of the altar. Behind is a cream curtain. The east window contains remnants of medieval glass, Most of the glass was destroyed by the Parliamentarians. The window has images of Elizabeth Woodville, wife of Edward IV (with her head missing) and their four daughters, Elizabeth, Cecily, Anne and Catherine.

There isn’t a lot to see and the church was less interesting than we had expected. If passing and with time to spare, it is worth popping in for a quick look, but not worth making a special trip.

The church is open during daylight hours and there is a large car park opposite.

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