Title: The Red Church

This black ink sketch shows the ‘Red Church’ of Jackfield, near Ironbridge in Shropshire. Its official title was ‘St. Marys’ but its colloquial name was coined from its construction (on an uncertain date ranging from 1759 to 1779) using local red brick.
It was reputedly haunted by either the┬álady who funded it and wanted it built in a specific alignment and/or by a young girl ‘wearing a bonnet, flowing cape and carrying a lantern. The latter possibly relating to a field fronting the church called ‘Cholera Piece’ due to it holding a mass grave of children from a cholera epidemic in 1832.
In 1850 the church’s morning attendance was recorded as ’53 adults and 125 children’ although its location up a steep hill some way from the village may have led to its decline and services stopped some 10 years later in 1860. Some records report that it became unsafe due to ground movement although it stayed standing (albeit as a ruin) for a further 100 years before being demolished in 1961.

Year:
1940
Size:
9 1/2" x 7"
Medium:
Pen & ink
Archive ref.:
Book 1

 

 

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