On 14th June Archbishop George visited the Longworth Chapel, Bartestree, Herefordshire, to bless and re-dedicate the splendid stained glass window in the 14thcentury chapel dedicated to St. James the Apostle. The Archbishop offered Mass of Thanksgiving with a congregation of sixty people, all dedicated to the preservation of this important part of our Catholic heritage.
Situated four miles east of Hereford, and located next door to St. Michael’s Hospice, the chapel was built in 1390 as part of Longworth hall but fell into disuse after the Reformation, serving at times as a barn and a cider press. In 1870 it was dismantled and relocated at the newly reconstructed Bartestree Convent where it served as a public chapel attached to the convent. E.W. Pugin (1834-75) the son of the celebrated Augustus Welby Pugin was architect of the early stages of the convent and may have been involved in the relocation of the chapel. The chapel today is thus a Victorian interpretation of a medieval building incorporating much medieval fabric brought from Longworth.
When the chapel closed in the 1990’s, the chapel again became derelict. It was vandalised and lucky to survive. It was transferred to the Historic Churches Trust in 2001 and underwent major restoration with the roof being replaced in 2010 thanks to a grant from English Heritage. Now a Grade II* listed building, it has benefitted from the dedicated and successful volunteer committee headed by Desmond Keohane.
The magnificent window designed by Hardman of Birmingham has now been beautifully restored thanks to the major fund-raising efforts of the committee and a generous grant from Historic England. Much more work remains to be done to ‘love’ this building back into a place of prayer and worship. The attached photos show how much has already been achieved.
Further information on this historic building is available by emailing the chapel. Click here to email Longworth Chapel.