IronbridgeAll Saints' Church
Church Street
Broseley
Shropshire TF12 5DA
 
 
 
Although located in Shropshire, the Broseley Parishes belong to the Church of England Diocese of Hereford. The parishes include the little town of Broseley, the riverside community of Jackfield and the rural area to the south with its settlements of Barrow, Linley and Willey.
 
There are a number of beautiful churches in this area of England but All Saints, Broseley has been described as ‘the finest early Victorian church in Shropshire’.
 
Built in 1845, it certainly is an imposing stone church and with a tower of over 93 feet in height, is visible along the Ironbridge Gorge. There is a peal of eight bells and a Sanctus bell but sadly no permanent band of bell ringers; however, the chamber is visited frequently by the ringers of Coalbrookdale.
 
All Saints was built to replace St Leonards, an earlier brick church built in 1716, which could no longer accommodate the growing population of Broseley. By 1841 Broseley had become famous for its brick and roofing tile manufacture and some parishioners wanted the new church to be built of the local product but the dynamic Rector, Rev’d Orlando Watkin Weld-Forester, got his way and the church was built of Highly stone.
 
Entry is through the porch in the base of the tower. The church has a central nave with clerestory which is 46 feet high. Stone arched columns divide the central nave from the north and south aisles. Four blocks of fine oak pews provide seating for over 400. Originally, galleries were built over the north and south aisles and provided seating for some 200 but were removed in 1980, much improving the lighting and acoustics.
 
Excellent Acoustics 
The church now has excellent acoustics and is often used for musical events. It has played host to the local Abraham Darby School Show Band, the Risca Male Voice Choir, the Birmingham Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Birmingham Chamber Orchestra as well as hosting a number of radio broadcasts for the BBC.
 
A great Gothic arch leads from the nave to the chancel with its fine central section of local figured tiles. The floor of the sanctuary is also fully tiled in similar irreplaceable tiles.
 
There is a splendid window by C.E Kempe (1837-1907) and an historic pipe organ. Unfortunately, repositioning of the pipe organ has now obscured part of the Kempe window.
 
The East window, dated 1861, by William Warrington of London has five main panels depicting scenes from the Bible. A three panel window is fitted in the centre north aisle. This window has coloured glass only up to the level where the gallery used to be; above this level is plain glass. The panels depict the Nativity, the Crucifixion and the Ascension. It was fitted in 1852.
 
The Organ
This instrument was built by JW Walker & Son of London in 1845 and installed in the first floor gallery of the tower; 45 years later, in 1890, it was removed from this location and rebuilt at ground level in the north aisle at the east end. This work was carried out by Nicholson and Co. of Worcester. To accommodate the organ, the first east section of the gallery was removed and the access doorway from the north vestry was bricked up.
 
In 1979 the organ was again removed and was to be enlarged and rebuilt back into the west gallery. The organ builder doing this work went out of business, some parts went missing and the work was undertaken by Paul Derrett who was head of music at The Grange School in Shrewsbury.
 
The organ contains 20 ranks of pipes in the Great and Swell departments and should have 5 ranks of 30 pipes each in the pedal section but some are missing. The Organ was rededicated in September 1985 by the Dean of Hereford Cathedral.
 
The church has other treasures – a lovely carved wooden eagle lectern, a statue of the Virgin Mary with the infant Jesus carved and painted in Oberammergau in the Lady Chapel, and some unusual and interesting monuments to Severn Trowmen and ironmasters.
 
Open
Every day during daylight hours.
 
Services
Sunday    10:30
Thursday 09:30
 
The Tower
Splendid views of the surrounding Shropshire countryside can be gained from the top of the tower. A stone spiral staircase leads up to the first floor where the organ is installed. Continuing up the spiral staircase to the next floor gives access to the bell ringing chamber. A wooden access ladder continues up to the clock chamber. A vertical metal ladder leads up to the belfry or bell chamber which contains the nine bells. During the time that the church was being built the Sanctus bell was suspended from the Yew tree to the south-east of the building.
 
From the bell chamber a wooden ladder leads to the tower roof. Only fit and healthy people should attempt this climb.
 
The Churchyard
The churchyard is no longer open for burials and has been set to lawn and is maintained by the Local Authority. Most of the gravestones have been cleared, and the churchyard is now a pleasant spot to sit and enjoy a bit of quiet time.
 
Contact & Further Information
The Rector
Telephone   +44 (0)1952 882 647
Mail   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
Getting There
For an excellent interactive road map of Ironbridge area, go to Web: Ironbridge interactive map