The Development of the Early Church at Old Swinford
It is almost certain that a church building has been standing on the same site in the village of Old Swinford for at least a thousand years.
Situated adjacent to a Saxon track which led from Amblecote via Red Hill and Church Road to Pedmore, Hagley and Clent, the church was close to the medieval village centre of Old Swinford, with its stream running nearby. Although no part of the original stone building survives today, when the old church was demolished in early Victorian times, one arch was reputed to have been of great antiquity, being either Saxon or early Norman.
The pre-Victorian church covered much the same floor area as its modern counterpart, the nave being shorter in length, but wider. In 1696 a new south aisle was added, jointly paid for by Thomas and Robert Foley, together with the attorney Samuel Hunt. The south-east corner of this aisle was rebuilt in 1826, at the same time providing a new upper gallery for the use of the Sunday School children. The roof on the southern side of the church was further repaired in 1828, the old sloping roof probably being replaced by a flat roof at this time.
The old church became increasingly costly to maintain, but a proposal in 1840 to rebuild the church completely was strongly opposed by the local inhabitants until it was pointed out to them that none of the cost would need to be paid out of the church rates!
The church spire was found to be in a dangerous condition as early as 1810 and was rebuilt at that time at the enormous cost of £443. It was repaired many times more before finally being removed in 1982.
The clock for the tower was supplied by a Mr Fodsham in 1868, costing £353: a sum supplied by donations from some 160 people. It was repaired and illuminated to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of King George V. In 1973 a new electric powered motion was supplied by John Smith and Sons of Derby. The clock strikes on the hour and on the half hour.
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