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Visiting St Michael's Church at Baddesley Clinton

Snowdrops at St Michael's Church, Baddesley Clinton, Warwickshire
Snowdrops herald the spring in the churchyard | © National Trust/Abi Cole

Explore the Grade II*-listed St Michael’s Church, situated close to Baddesley Clinton, with many connections to the families who have lived in the house.

Visiting the church

A short stroll from Baddesley Clinton, along a 250-yard section of the Heart of England Way will bring you to the church. Take the path on the right as you leave reception, there is a sign to guide you.

In the early spring, the churchyard comes alive with flowers – first snowdrops and then daffodils and bluebells. There is an annual Bluebell Service in the church each May.

Look out for the unique organ which is inscribed ‘Sarah Green, Organ Builders to their Majesties, Isleworth 1797’ and is used regularly for recitals.

Snowdrops in the church yard at Baddesley Clinton, Warwickshire
Snowdrops in the church yard | © National Trust Images/Abi Cole

The history of the church

Records show a church on this site in 1305 and the nave dates to that time, but there may have been a church there two, or even three, centuries earlier. Originally dedicated to St James, the dedication was subsequently changed to St Michael, possibly following the 19th century restoration.

A murderer’s penance

Nicholas Brome (c.1450-1517) was Lord of the Manor of Baddesley Clinton and lived in the house.

One day in 1485, he came home and surprised a man in the parlour “chockinge” (stroking) Brome’s wife Elizabeth “under ye chinne”. Enraged, Brome drew his sword and killed him, only to discover he had murdered the Rector of St James. There is a bloodstain on the floor of the library which may, or may not, be where the murder occurred.

In penance for this act Brome built the towers of this church and of the church at nearby Packwood. They are sometimes known as the ‘Towers of Atonement’. He also stipulated in his will that he should be buried in the porch of the church:

‘Within the Church door as the people may tread upon mee as they cone [sic] into the church.’

- Nicholas Brome, 1517

The church also contains many references to the Ferrers family who lived at Baddesley for many generations.

In the chancel is the brightly painted table tomb of Sir Edward Ferrers who died in 1535. The nearby east window has 16th-century stained glass, with likenesses of Sir Edward Ferrers and Lady Constance, who paid for the window.

There are also several examples of the Ferrers coat of arms, which features a seven-diamond pattern, particularly in the two funerary hatchments mounted on the wall to Henry Ferrers (1830) and Edward Ferrers (1794).

The church is not part of the National Trust estate, for more information about the church and services, please visit the church website.

Two visitors walk hand in hand across the bridge over the moat towards the stone built Baddesley Clinton house in Warwickshire. There are sunny blue skies above and the surrounding trees are reflected in the moat.

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