Treasures of the Benefice – Colemere Anniversary

Lyneal cum Colemere

The church at Colemere was consecrated on June 16th, the Feast of Corpus Christi 1870, by Bishop Selwyn of Lichfield.  It was built at the expense of Lady Marian Alford in memory of her son Lord Brownlow and designed by G.E.Street, one of the leading architects of the day.  Street had restored York Minister, the Law Courts in London and nearer home, Oswestry Parish Church. Colemere belongs to Street’s earlier period in which he adopted the Early English style in accordance with the principles of the Ecclesiological Society and avoided decorative carvings of natural subjects.  The exterior of the west end has a geometric design worked into the stone around three cusped lancet windows.  The buff Cefn Mawr sandstone, brought by canal to Lyneal wharf and hauled to the site, is contrasted with bands of red. This High Victorian characteristic has earned the nick-name ‘streaky bacon’ or ‘holy zebras’.  Messrs. Powell and Rogers of Prees carried out the building work which took just twelve months at a cost of £2,500.

Christopher Jobson

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