St. Cuthbert's and Lower Wick

  • 30 Oct 2021
  • Church Curiosities
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In the farmyard of Lower Wick Manor Hose, (also known as Bennett's Dairy), is an ancient building of red sandstone, and some architectural merit, but which has long used as a farm building. It is in fact, the remains of the mother church of St. John's, the Church of St. Cuthbert, of Wick.

When Wick Episcopi was no longer used by the Bishops, the chapel of ease provided for the Prior's servants became more convenient to the village which had grown up by Cripplegate. In 1371, Bishop William de Lynne held an enquiry request of the inhabitants, and found St. Cuthbert's half deserted and attended by very few. He decided to make the chapel ease the church of St. John's, and  although the order was given that St. Cuthbert's should be 'taken down and every stone removed to prevent pollution' this was not done.

The old masonry is in places 12ft high and from 4 to 6ft thick, has traces of window of an ecclesiastical character. The building is said to have been used as a place where paupers died. It appears also to have been used to house Worcester gaol prisoners temporarily when epidemics of gaol fever broke out.

The Manor House at Lower Wick dates from the 18th and 19th centuries, but remains of an extensive moat, or fish ponds, indicate that the site is of an earlier house. Wick passed from the Bromley's to Thomas Vernon of Hanbury in 1743, and they retained it for more than a century and a half. The estate was broken up in the present century, and sold mainly to tenants, and was held until the 1939 War as a hop and dairy farm with nursery gardens, when the housing explosion in the 1960's changed the hop yards and apple orchards into a housing estate. The farm still continues in business today..