St Peter & St Paul
Water Orton Church shares its name with the mother church at Aston. The present building was erected in 1879 replacing a 14th-century chapel which stood in the old village near the River Tame.
Water Orton Church website
The church website can be found at http://www.waterortonparishchurch.co.uk.
See also A Church near You - http://www.achurchnearyou.com/water-orton-st-peter-st-paul/.
Press function key F5 to refresh the map.
The present church and the site of the original chapel can both be seen on the 1890 Ordnance Survey map available on British History Online -
The Manor of Water Orton
From the 14th century the manor of Water Orton was in the hands of the de Clodeshale family, the first documented evidence referring to Richard de Clodeshale in 1329. His son Walter was a wealthy Birmingham wool merchant who also owned the manor of Saltley. By 1452, with Park Hall in Castle Bromwich, it had passed by marriage into the de Arden family.
On the death of Robert Arden without issue in 1643 the manor was divided between his four sisters. In 1664, however, Sir Herbert Price, husband of one of the sisters, held the whole manor. In 1704 Sir Herbert’s son John sold both Water Orton and Park Hall to John Bridgeman, and since then they have been held with Castle Bromwich manor in the Bridgeman family.
Water Orton Chapel
Water Orton was originally a hamlet of Aston, a narrow finger at the eastern extent of the manor between the River Tame on the north and the parish of Coleshill on the south.
Although the villagers of Water Orton were parishioners of Aston, the mother church was some 6 miles distant with the Tame in between. The river was prone to flooding in winter so the villagers attended the chapel of Castle Bromwich, a chapel of Aston, for Sunday services. Indeed it is probable that the manor of Water Orton was part of the chapelry of Castle Bromwich. In 1346, at the time that Walter de Clodeshale was lord of the manor, they built a chapel of ease of their own here and were permitted by the bishop to have it served by their own priest, subject to the rights of the mother church at Aston.
Water Orton chapel was dedicated to St Peter & St Paul, as is the parish church of Aston and also that of nearby Coleshill. It stood close the river and was part of the old village of which some substantial timber-framed houses remain. Although the old church building was demolished after 1887, the graveyard remains as does a 15th-century cross. The old church was given its own parish out of Aston in 1871.
Presumably the old chapel had fallen into a state of disrepair and it was considered not worth repairing as it would not suit the needs of an expanding middle-class community. The Birmingham- Derby Railway had been built south of the old village in the late 1830s and newer housing had been built south of the railway.
On land donated by Captain and Mrs Digby, the present church of St Peter & St Paul was built in 1879. Costing some £4000 it was built in stone to a design by Bateman & Corser, the former being J J Bateman who lived in Rectory Lane, Castle Bromwich.
The church originally had a tall slender spire, which, with the pinnacles, was taken down in the 1980s as it had become unsafe.
The Link, Water Orton's community venue, was built by the parish church in 2010 using funds from the Robert Lloyd Charity of 1687.
Acknowledgement - See British History Online - Victoria County History of Warwick Volume 4 Hemlingford Hundred ed. L F Salzman 1947 - http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=42694.
See also Warwickshire Museum Timetrail - http://timetrail.warwickshire.gov.uk/detail.aspx?monuid=WA40.
Acknowledgements My thanks to Olwyn Powell who arranged my visit to Water Orton Church, and to Rev Stephen Mayes for his corrections.
William Dargue 21.05.2011