The church of St George’s sits on a knoll in the centre of the village, and is clearly visible as you approach Woolhope from most directions.
It is likely that the site has been a place of worship for over 2000 years, lying as it does on a ley line and probable prehistoric track. These tracks often had shrines along them to local spirits, and to suppress paganism, early Christians built prayer shelters to replace them. Woolhope Church would most likely have started life as a pagan shrine.
An Anglo Saxon Church also stood here. It’s destruction is recorded in the Hereford Cathedral archives, and it’s existence is also echoed in the Anglo-
Saxon name for the Lych- gate (1581) of the “Skallenge”.
St George’s Church
Permission to build the present church was granted by the Bishop of Hereford in 1157. It now consists of the West End Tower, Nave with Chancel and Sanctuary, and two Side Aisles.
The first Norman Church was a simple rectangular building, unusual in that the Nave, Chancel and Sanctuary are continuous. There was also a Chantry dedicated to St Mary, possibly on the North Side. The Tower was added a little later. Modifications have been made over the centuries, including the addition of the South Aisle in 1882 as part of extensive work funded by the Booker family.
The Tower bell chamber houses a peal of six bells, one dating from the 14th century. They can be heard ringing most Wednesday evenings at practice, and for many services.
Visitors will find an atmosphere of worship in the Church, and are warmly welcome to spend to spend a quiet half hour there, or to join in the services.
The Friends of St George’s Church, Woolhope
You can become a friend of St George’s and help sustain our beautiful church for future generations by downloading and completing the leaflet above. Please note that if you wish to pay by standing order the sort code has been printed incorrectly –
it should be 30- 80- 55. Apologies for any inconvenience and thank you for your support.
Rector: Revd. Dr Chris Moore (Day off Tuesday) 01432 860365 http://www.fownhoperectory.com
Church Wardens: Bill Gunn 01432 860624 Joyce Pitts 01432 860616