Longworth RC Chapel

Bartestree, Herefordshire | Listed Grade II*

History and Architecture

Longworth Chapel, on its present site, dates from 1869–70.  The chapel, or parts of it, previously stood at Old Longworth where it was the private chapel of a manor house. After the reformation the chapel fell out of use and by the 17th century was being used for agricultural purposes, though it survived relatively unchanged into the mid-19th century.  The owner at that time, Robert Biddulph Phillips, converted to Catholicism and decided to restore the chapel.  Phillips died in 1864 and was buried in his chapel at Longworth.  His will expressed a determination to move the chapel next to the convent at Bartestree a few miles away.  Edward Welby Pugin (1834–75), gifted Gothic Revivalist and architect of the convent at Bartestree, almost certainly carried this out in 1869–70, possibly with the involvement of Benjamin Bucknal.

The chapel today is thus a remarkable Victorian interpretation of a medieval building incorporating extensive medieval elements.  The chancel has a three-bay early 15th century oak roof with two tiers of cusped windbraces.  The north (west) end has a plain, probably 16th century roof of 14 close-set arch braced collar trusses.  There is a fine stone altar reredos of 1869, also probably designed by E.W.Pugin.  The stained glass and statutory is by Hardmans of Birmingham.

A free short guide, ideal for reference when visiting the chapel, can be downloaded here.

This chapel is registered for Roman Catholic Marriages - for details contact us.

Repair and Regeneration

HCT has prepared proposals for the restoration of the building and English Heritage awarded a grant of £143,000 for the first phase of repairs. This involved the full repair of the roof and repointing of the exterior walls to keep it weathertight and was completed in June 2010.  We are actively fundraising for the balance needed.