Llangrove, Christ's Church
Llangrove, Christ's Church
A very tidy Victorian church that was the first commission for GF Bodley, who had a hand in restoring so many of Herefordshire's churches. Bodley (1827-1907) learned his craft under Sir George Gilbert Scott, and at Llangrove he created a very attractive church in a style that harkens back to the English Gothic architecture of the 14th century.

Bodley's work at Llangrove became one of the inspirations for the Arts and Crafts Movement that gained so much popularity later in the Victorian period. Perhaps the most striking feature of the interior is the carved and painted wooden altar screen, which was completed in 1856. The interior structure is simple, composed of an aisleless nave and chancel beneath very simple pointed arches.

GF Bodley considered typical Victorian Gothic churches too cluttered, to 'busy', and his design hearkened back to the simplicity of the original Early English style.

Bodley's vision inspired a generation of Arts and Crafts style churches, though the name 'Arts and Crafts' was not widely used for 3 decades after Christ Church was finished. Curiously, though Bodley was a friend of Arts and Crafts pioneer William Morris, and worked with Morris on many church furnishing projects, he did not consider himself an Arts and Crafts exponent, nor did Morris.

Interior highlights include a painted screen behind the altar, decorated with painted panels in Pre-Raphaelite style depicting angels. The screen, erected in 1898, commemorates Catherine Marriott, Lady of the Manor of Goodrich. Mrs Marriott gave land for the church and endowed it with 1500 pounds to cover building costs, and also paid for the neighbouring school and master's house.

The organ was built by Arthur Caldwell and stood for many years in the lobby of the Beecham factory in St Helens. It was loaned to the town hall after the parish church burned down, and was purchased for Llangrove in 1970 at a cost of 525 pounds.