BuiltWithNOF
History-building

It is believed that the historical records of the ancient Church of St Nicholas were lost or destroyed in the Parliamentary Wars, when the city was sacked and robbed.

The church of St Nicholas is supposed to have been founded at a period subsequent to 1292; this is based on the fact that it was not mentioned in the ecclesiastical survey taken in that year by Edward l.

However in 1155 mention of the church of St Nicholas is made in the ‘Letters and Charters of Gilbert Foliot’

Also - from ‘Hereford History & Guifde’ by Ron Shoesmith.......’When the Normans started to renovate the city...there was only one church, apart from the Cathedral, in the Saxon city. This was St. Nicholas...its foundation date is unknown.’

John Leland’s Itinerary of his travels in Tudor England took him through Hereford during 1539 and St Nicholas’ is mentioned as one of four parish churches within the city walls. The church is shown on Speed’s inset plan of Hereford on his map of Herefordshire of 1610 - it is directly at the head of Bridge Street, on the corner of a square of houses running along the present King Street,Aubrey Street, Little Berrington Street and Berrington Street.

The reverend John Duncumbe, M.A., in his Collection towards the History and Antiquities of the City and County of Hereford, tells us that S.Nicholas’ Church was rebuilt in 1718, and gives a subscription list of 500, headed by James, Duke of Chandos, with a gift of 330. The Mayor and Council also gave a donation of 10.10s. However, the Rev.W.J.Rees, B.A. in his guide book, published in 1827, says that the church was only ‘restored and repaired’.

The first edition of William Cambden’s ‘Britannia was published in1586 - it was translated from  the Latin in 1722 and the following is noted .....

The City is pretty large, and had once six parish churches; but two of these were demolished in the late Civil wars....

The Universal British Directory of 1791 only mentions the following....

‘.besides the cathedral, there are three other churches: All Saints’, St Peter’s and St Nicholas’.  

Cassells Gazetteer of the British Isles (1900) similarly mentions St Nicholas’ as one of six ancient parishes - it also gives details of its distance from London (144 miles) and its population (2,149) which was 1.85% of the total for Herefordshire (115,949).

The old church stood at the top of King Street, and consisted of a nave, and chancel, with a capacious tower, 68 feet high. The tower contained six bells and a clock. Before the dissolution, there were two chantries in honour of the Virgin Mary.

scan1645Hereford0001

1645

map

1827

Model of

Old St Nicholas’

Church

21-06-2010 SNsnaged

1841

April 15th or 21st 1841

Foundation Stone laid for new St Nicholas’ Church

(Different dates in different accounts)

11th August 1842   see description

The New Church was consecrated

The new church was built as a preaching hall with box-seats and benches, a central pulpit, and was designed to accomodate 570 people.

1910:  Major re-ordering of church -

with a new pulpit, 2 oak stalls, credence table, oak communion rail, reconstructed floor, chancel enlarged, extra supports provided for roof beams, electric light installed. The organ was moved and reinstalled in the South East corner of the church - approximately where the present pipework is situated.

1939: The space underneath the church floor was ‘converted’ for use as an air-raid shelter. During these excavations a Norman arch stone was discovered in the basement wall. The organ blower is situated in this underfloor area.

1949: on July 31st Bishop Longworth dedicated new choirstalls, from a legacy of a former chorister, Miss Alice Smith, in memory of those who gave their lives in the Second World War.

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