word "Old" refers to the fact that at the beginning of
this century it was envisaged that this church would close, and a
new church dedicated to St Martin was built to the east of the
city. (See below). However, "Old" St Martin's survived and is in
daily use for worship.
church was built of brick and stone in the late 18th
century (from 1767) in the classical style and replaced an older
mediaeval church on the site, which was then within the walls of
the City of Worcester, on the east side of the city.
A tower was added shortly after completion of the main
church building. The
east window was altered in the mid-19th century in the
age of Victorian "improvements", so that this has
neo-Gothic ornamentation. Regrettably
Old St Martin's is surrounded by the city's ring-road, a car-park
and generally run-down premises, so does not offer a promising
sight to visitors.
West gallery was built in the church in the early 1800s across two
of the windows and two of the memorial stones dating from the late
1700s of two of the parish's deceased families who are buried in
the crypt below. There
were also galleries in the north and south aisles which lasted
only a short time. However,
the West gallery remains and is used by Vital
Spark for concerts of West gallery music.
An organ has been built on the gallery.
St Martin's has an Anglo-Catholic tradition, at least since c. 1902. Before then it
appears to have been less rigid in ceremony.
The church was to have closed many times throughout the
1900s as the population left the centre of Worcester, and indeed a
"New" St Martin's was opened in 1910 in the south-east
suburbs of the growing city, with Old St Martin's parish being
merged with St Swithun's. However, it has
survived as one of the two churches that form Worcester City
parish (the other being All Saints), these being the only two
Anglican parish churches now in regular use within the old centre
also the parish website http://freespace.virgin.net/worcester.cityparish/homepage.index.html
for details of the two churches and pictures of All Saints
and Old St Martins.
Martin's has a peal of bells, which unfortunately cannot be
rung for safety reasons. For details see http://freespace.virgin.net/david.beacham/stmartin.index.html