Chapel of Our Lady of the Assumption, Rotherwas (1)

Recent Photograph of Chapel of Our Lady of the Assumption (1) (Rotherwas)

Entering the Chapel through the door at the base of the tower is quite spooky! It's dark inside, and opening the door, one can hear a very loud tick, tick, which together with seeing (imaginary) cobwebs hanging from the ceiling, sounded to me like the fluttering of wings - bats in the belfry - whilst below, was a Pit... In reality the ticking proved to be the Clock Pendulum, and (presumably) the grating across the depression in the entrance had served as a cattle/animal grid originally.

So Edgar Allen Poe had nothing to do with it... The building dates from 1583, built by (Sir) Roger Bodenham, possibly replacing an earlier chapel. The Bodenham family were of Bodenham, Herefordshire originally, but had inherited the estate at Rotherwas in 1483. Sir Roger was born in 1545, and came into the the property in 1583.

The Chapel was built as a private place of worship for the family only, and was never intended for more general use. Roger was said to have been of Anglican faith originally, but his wife was reputed to be a recusant as early as 1587. Roger's conversion to Catholicism followed an apparently miraculous cure in 1606 of ‘a gross humour his legs’, following a visit to St. Winifred's Well, Holywell, Flintshire. This event is symbolised in the Victorian glass window dedicated to St. Winifred in the south Chapel.

He became a Knight of the Bath at the coronation of James I, and when he died in 1623, he was succeeded by his son Thomas.

(Information provided by Rosemary Lockie)

Image contributed by Rosemary Lockie on 23rd April 2009.
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