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Saint Editha's, the parish church

It is thought that a church existed on the present site in 667 when St Chad was Bishop of Lichfield. Tamworth was the principal settlement in Mercia in those Saxon times.

The town was sacked by the Danes in 874 and another church built c. 900. Yet again the town was raided by the Danes in 943 and the church destroyed.

The next edifice was built by King Edgar c. 963 to be followed by the great Norman church. It is not known if the College was founded by King Edgar or by Robert de Marmion, but the first recorded Dean of the Collegiate Church of Tamworth was William, a son of Robert. The College lasted until 1547 when it was dissolved. Building work in the 13th century included the north aisle of the nave, the old font and the crypt under part of the south aisle of the nave.

In 1345 the church was gutted by fire, the rebuilding taking 20 years because of poverty and the Black Death at home, and war abroad. Baldwin de Witney, the Dean who undertook the task, died in 1369 and his effigy is in St George's Chapel. This was rebuilt later in the century when work started on the great west tower. The fine range of clerestory windows in the nave and the roofs of the nave and its north and south aisles and chancel are 15th century work.

The pinnacled church tower, together with the castle, dominate the silhouette of this largely Georgian town. Inside the west door, beneath the tower, there is an immediate effect of grandeur with a rich Baroque monument to Sir John Ferrers (d. 1680) and figures, heraldry, urns and ornamental festoons of flowers. There is an open stone screen at the east of the tower extending the full height of the nave, erect in 1874.

At the entry to the north transept is the Comberford Chapel with a mural monument in memory of the Comberford family made in 1725. At the east end of the north wall is a chapel dedicated to St George which contains much of interest.

South of the chapel is the chancel with effigies believed to be of Sir Baldwin Freville and his wife (c. 1400) and Lady Joan de Freville (d. 1339), as well as many more items of interest including statues of the Virgin Mary and St Editha.

Please check back soon for photos of St Editha's, Tamworth.