St Andrew’s ChurchPlymouth
Royal Parade
Devon PL1 2AD
The fine Gothic Minster Church of St Andrew stands on the southern side of Royal Parade near The Barbican. It is the Mother Church of Plymouth and has been the central place of worship since Saxon times.
During the Second World War the Naval Dockyard was targeted by the enemy and bombs rained down reducing much of Plymouth to rubble. In March 1941 bombs hit St Andrew’s and set fire to it. All that was left standing was the walls and the 15th century tower. Standing amidst the smoking ruins, a headmistress nailed over the door a wooden sign saying simply Resurgam (Latin for I shall rise again).
The church did rise again reconstructed in its original Perpendicular style. Visitors are reminded of the citizens’ indomitable wartime spirit by the carved granite plaque now permanently fixed above the Resurgam door.
The reconstruction started in 1949 and was completed in an amazing 8 years. The original crypt dates from the 12th century and is said to communicate with the next door “Prysten House” built in 1494 by church benefactor, Thomas Younge.
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Prysten House
That fine limestone house is the second oldest dwelling in Plymouth and is owned by the church. It has a lovely galleried courtyard and houses the famous 28 foot  (8.5 metre) Plymouth Tapestry; with its 2,250,000 stitches, some of which were added by royalty ,it took four and a half years to complete and is well worth visiting.
The Church
The church consists of chancel, nave, aisles extending the whole length of the building, transepts, north and south porches, and a lofty western tower with pinnacles. The aisles are separated from the nave and chancel by a series of lofty pointed arches springing from clustered shafts, with carved foliated capitals. The eastern portions of the aisles form chapels.
The beautiful 20th century stained-glass windows are by Patrick Reyntiens and John Piper. Other beautiful work by Piper can be seen in the magnificent modern Coventry Cathedral.
The tower contains a clock and a peal of 10 bells, numbers three to nine of which were cast in 1749.
St Andrew’s place in English history
In 1501, after a particularly perilous voyage across the English Channel from Spain, Katherine of Aragon landed at Plymouth and promptly made her way in procession to the church to give thanks for her safe arrival. Katherine, of course, later became King Henry VIII’s first wife.
Sir Francis Drake was a regular worshipper and visitors can see a voyage plan scratched by him on the church wall. He was such a hero that when he returned from his adventures at Nombre de Dios, a rumour spread around the church and the whole congregation left the service to welcome him home!
Other famous worshippers were Admiral Sir John Hawkins, Captain William Bligh of 'Mutiny on the Bounty' fame, and around-the-world sailor Sir Francis Chichester.
Plan Your Visit
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Admission Costs
Free, however your donation will be most welcome
Contact & Further Information
Telephone   +44 (0)1752 661 414
Mail   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website   St Andrews Church, Plymouth   External Link
Getting There
The Church has clear map directions on their website  Web:  Finding Us    External Link
Google Map - St Andrews Church

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