3 nights starting from
Lichfield – our base, with its lovely Minster
Coventry Cathedral – Sir Basil Spence’s 1962 masterpiece
Warwick’s magnificent St Mary’s with Beauchamp monuments
Cheadle St Giles – Pugin’s magnum opus and a key building of the 19th century
This, the 10th Cathedrals and Churches tour designed and led by Mike Hope, takes us to the West Midlands to a wonderful array of ecclesiastical and architectural gems with work by Wren, Pugin and Spence on view, with a millennia of history to delve into, in the company of the inimitable Mike Hope.
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Day 1: Arrive independently at the George Hotel, Lichfield from 15.00.
This evening there will be a welcome reception, private dinner with wine and a talk by Mike Hope –‘ Pugin, the Gothic Revival and the West Midlands.’
Day 2: Lichfield Cathedral, Church of the Holy Angels Hoar Cross, Tutbury Priory, Cheadle St Giles and St Mary’s Ingestre
A packed day of visits, starting with the lovely cathedral in Lichfield, a minute’s walk from our hotel, the only medieval three-spired Cathedral in the UK with over 1300 years of history. Then to the Catholic Anglican Church of the Holy Angels at Hoar Cross, St Mary’s Priory Church at Tutbury, completed in 1160, St Giles Catholic Church in Cheadle, considered to be the finest of all the churches built by the celebrated nineteenth century architect and designer A W N Pugin. Our final visit of a packed and fascinating day is to St Mary’s Ingestre, built by Walter Chetwynd to a design attributed to Sir Christopher Wren. Dinner at the hotel.
Day 3: Warwick St Marys, Coventry Cathedral & Holy Trinity Church.
A day of century-hopping starts with the ancient church of St Mary’s in Warick, dating from 1123 and including the glorious Beauchamp Chapel, built in the 15th century to house the tomb of the supremely rich and powerful Earl of Warwick. Its Chancel, Vestry and Chapter House are supreme 14t century examples of Enhglish Gothic. We leap centuries ahead, next, to Sir Basil Spence’s Coventry Cathedral, built in 1962 adjacent to the ruins of the bombed old cathedral. Its unconventional spire, called a “fleche” was lowered on to the flat roof by helicopter! Then to Coventry’s Holy Trinity Church dating back to the 14th century. Second talk from Mike Hope – ‘A history of Stained Glass’ and dinner in the hotel restaurant.
Day 4:Birmingham St Philip’s Anglican Cathedral, Shrewsbury Abbey and Cathedral and Tong St Bartholomew’s Church
First of all to England’s second city and St Philip’s Anglican Cathedral, a rare and fine example of English Baroque dating to 17.15. Then an external view of Pugin’s St Chad’s, before heading to Shrewsbury for its Roman Catholic Cathedral and ancient Abbey dating back to 1083 when it was founded as a Benedictine monastery. Finally to Tong St Bartholomew, dedicated in 1410, and considered to be one of the finest examples of a church built in perpendicular style in the country, before returning to Lichfield for approximately 1700.
NB: Exact order of excursions may vary according to local conditions and tour manager's discretion.
Please note: Post tour extra nights are available at a supplement.
Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 25 passengers.
Best Western George Hotel, Lichfield
A Georgian coaching inn, located in the heart of the lovely town of Lichfield. Facilities here include a bar and restaurant, as well as comfortable bedrooms with all modern facilities.
Best Western George Hotel Website
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