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OVER WHITACRE 2, 7-0-23 in Bb

Grid Reference 151/198522 overwhitacre.jpg
Postcode B46 2NG
Other Information Webpage about the church


The church, dating from 1766, was built early in the reign of George III in an Italian classical style typical of the period. However, this was not the first church building on the site. Over Whitacre church certainly dates from Norman times and may be of earlier foundation. Although no evidence of this early church building survives above ground, an item of the old church’s furniture is now to be found in Holy Trinity church at Sutton Coldfield. The 12th-century stone font from Over Whitacre was thrown out when the church was rebuilt. The font was taken to a local pub, either the nearby Owl Inn (now gone) or downhill to the Bull at Furnace End. It was rediscovered in 1856 and presented to Holy Trinity. Documentary evidence of the church here is available from the early 13th century. The advowson of Over Whitacre was given in 1203 by Jordan de Witacre to Christine, prioress of Markyate, Bedfordshire. This gave the priory, amongst other things, the right to appoint a priest to Over Whitacre. Nether Whitacre and Lea Marston were also similarly subject to Markyate Priory. In a document of 1280 confirming the agreement the church is referred to as the ‘chapel’ of Over Whitacre, suggesting that it was subsidiary to Coleshill at that time. Whitacre was still appropriated to Markyate at the time of Henry VIII's valuation, the Valor Ecclesiasticus of 1535, but no vicarage had been endowed and the chapel was probably served by a priest from Coleshill.

Over Whitacre had probably become a parish church in its own right by the end of the 16th century. The earliest evidence on the site is the stump of a medieval churchyard cross which dates from c1500. In 1766 the church was completely rebuilt. The architect builder/s are thought to have been either or both William and David Hiorn of Warwick. They were neo-classical architects of some local repute having worked in Warwick, on west midland country houses and on churches including Holy Trinity church in Sutton Coldfield in 1760. It may be that the new church was built on the foundations of the old. It is possible too that between the internal plaster and the external sandstone ashlar remains of the medieval building survive. The church originally had a dome on the top of the tower, but this was replaced by a spire in 1850

There are two bells here, which are perfectly ringable. Hung on one level in a modern metal frame, they hang side by side and both swing east-west. The treble sounds note E and the tenor Bb. Frame and fittings by Taylors, 1933 at which time the treble was retuned. Tilley and Walters give the inscriptions in their book, "The Church Bells of Warwickshire":


Details Of The Bells

1 Unknown                c1350  3-2-14  26.375"
2 Hugh Watts, Leicester   1616  7-0-23  34.00"

Photo Gallery

overwhiteacre_treble.jpg overwhiacre_tenor.jpg
The Treble The Tenor
overwhitacre4.jpg overwhitacre5.jpg
The Nave, Looking East The Nave, Looking West  

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