Stretford, St Cosmos & St Damian Church
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
Remarkably, a single roof spans the width of both naves and two side aisles. The roof was built in 1540, but the nave arcades date to the 13th century.
A pair of 16th century carved wooden rood screens separate the naves from the chancels. Between the screens stands a Jacobean pulpit. The most notable feature of the interior - apart from its sheer size - is a pair of 14th-century effigies depicting husbands and wives of the Delabere family.
The dedication of the church might raise some eyebrows; there are only 5 English churches dedicated to St Cosmas and St Damian; The Blean (Kent), Challock, (Kent), Sherrington, (Wiltshire), and Keymer (West Sussex), and Stretford is the only one of these to have a shrine to Cosmas and Damian.
The saints were two 4th century Syrian brothers who practised medicine but would accept no payment for their services. Instead, they used their gifts to try to convert their patients to Christianity. The brothers are the patron saints of physicians and surgeons. Perhaps the dedication to two brothers relates to the fact that there are two naves and two chancels at Stretford? A far-fetched theory perhaps, but an intriguing one. The interior features very fine woodworking.
Stretford church is in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust and is generally open 24 hours a day.
About Stretford, St Cosmos & St Damian Church
Address: Stretford, Herefordshire, England, HR6 9DG
Attraction Type: Historic Church
Location: Four miles south west odf Leominster off the A44 and A4110, up a country lane. Open access, church left unlocked.
Website: Stretford, St Cosmos & St Damian Church
Churches Conservation Trust
Photo Credit: Philip Pankhurst, licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence
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