Saint Editha's, the parish church
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.