Chapel of Our Lady of the Assumption, Rotherwas (2)

Recent Photograph of Chapel of Our Lady of the Assumption (2) (Rotherwas)

In common with many in the area, the estate sufferred severely in the Civil War, but the family's fortunes revived later in the century and the Manor House, formerly a timber-framed structure, with a stone Elizabethan wing and a brick gatehouse near the chapel, was rebuilt of brick. It stood to the north-west of the chapel. Late 17th century outbuildings still survive in the farm to the south and there is a Tudor gateway in the garden wall to the north.

The property was inherited in 1865 by Charles Bodenham, then when he died in 1883, the chapel was refurbished at the instruction of Countess Irena Maria as a memorial to her husband. Improvements included the addition of Chancel (seen here), Side (south) Chapel and Vestry, to a design by Peter Paul Pugin, youngest son of the more famous Augustus Welby Pugin.

Charles died without an heir in 1883, Irena in 1892, then during the First World War the estate was acquired by the War Department. The house was subsequently demolished (in 1926), with the Ministry of Public Buildings and Works (then Office of Works) continuing to be responsible for the maintenance of the chapel. It is now in the care of English Heritage.

Services were held for soldiers stationed nearby during WWI, and during WWII for those guarding the Rotherwas Munitions Factory.

(Information provided by Rosemary Lockie)

Image contributed by Rosemary Lockie on 4th May 2009.
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