There has been a place of worship on this site for almost 1000 years. In the late 19th century the building had fallen into such a state of disrepair that the decision to demolish it was taken. The present church was designed by JL Pearson, who also designed Truro Cathedral. Two of the original Norman doors are incorporated into the building. It was funded by public subscription and dedicated in 1880.
A Royalist soldier who died of wounds sustained at the Battle of Edgehill is buried in the churchyard. Inside the church there is an impressive memorial to Thomas Carew, dated 1668. He and his infant daughter are believed to have carried the plague with them when they fled from London.
Within the grounds of the church
St George’s Church has been awarded the Eco Church Bronze Award:
The entrance to the church is on the north side, in the porch there is a plaque recording the fact that the Church Extension Society gave £50 on the understanding that no seats were to be reserved, so that people could sit where they wished. This is still observed.
The Bell Tower. The four bells were cast at the Evesham Foundry of William Clark and Michael Bushell in 1707. They have been turned but not recast; the clappers have been turned and other maintenance work carries out, largely in the 1950s. Unfortunately there is no team of bell ringers but scratch teams are raised for special occasions such as the Millenium celebrations.
The East Window. This was donated by Miss Letitia Baker, who was the niece of the Vicar and lived at the Vicarage with him.
The Altar and Reredos. This is in triptych form. The centre panel has a painting of ‘Christ in Majesty’ with carved and gilded canopies. The painting shows a rainbow and Christ flanked by a trio of winged angels. The canopies have carved vines, grapes, lilies and thistles. The Altar is carved to match. This work was undertaken by the Bromsgrove Guild and was completed in 1926. It was donated by Mr C T Garland, an American, who rented Ashorne Hill whilst he was building Moreton Hall in the neighbouring village of Moreton Morrell. His daughter, Mrs Williams, rented Newbold Pacey Hall during the 20s and 30s.
The Lectern. This was carved by a relative of the Little family, the owners of Newbold Pacey Hall. She is reputed to have gone blind as a result of doing so much detailed work.
The Psalm and Hymn Boards. These were donated in memory of Mr E Carpenter who was both organist and Head Master of the new school in Ashorne.
The Font. This is dedicated ‘to the Glory of God in loving memory of G Teal 1879’
The West Window. This was donated by the Nicols family. It is substantially in its original condition but has recently had a certain amount of maintenance done on it, such as resealing with lead.
The Organ. There was no music in the old church and Mr Hyde, a local farmer, used to send a cart to Wellesbourne on Saturdays to pick up an harmonium, returning it on Monday by the same means. However, when the church was rebuilt, a new organ was commissioned from Thomas S Jones of 25 Pentonville Road, Islington, London for £120. The organ itself was £110, altering the bellows was £5 and carriage a further £5. £100 was donated towards the cost of the organ.
The organ was blown manually until the 1950s. It was customary for the bellows boys to carve their names on the box; some of these people are still living and working in the neighbourhood today. In the early 1990s a major rebuilding of te organ, costing £7000, was undertaken.
The Heating. It is notoriously difficult to heat churches with their high roofs; St George’s is no exception. At one time underfloor heating was tried, with a stove in the area now occupied by the font. This drew air from the chimney in the vestry and the eat was supposed to flow out by another pipe to the same place. Unfortunately, the draught was inadequate and the system had to be scrapped. Some of the pipes still remain under the carpet in the aisle and in the chancel. Electric heating, still inadequate, was installed about 1980.
The Rev Thomas Castle Southey MA. A nephew of the poet Southey, he was Vicar from 1868 to 1899. It was, of course, during this time that both the church and the school were built. He composed the verse that is to be found on the plaque shortly before his death.
Edward Carew and Daughter. It is not known where they came from, but it is reasonable to suppose that they, in coomon with others, fled from the plague in London but succumbed to it later. It is alleged that, in the old church, the plaque was by the pulpit where its nose was always blackened by candle smoke.
Thomas Nicholson. Vicar from 1782 to 1803.
William Charnley, William and Sarah Little. William Charnley was the uncle by marriage of William Little. He died childless and William Little inherited the property via his aunt.
Richard Bolton STP. Vicar for a brief period who died in 1766. The letters STP stand for Professor of Sacred Theology, which is the equivalent of the modern Doctor of Divinity.
Kate Lindsay. It is not known who she was or where she lived.
2nd Lt Howard St George. A casualty of WW1 whose parents lived temporarily at Ashorne Hill.