Longworth Chapel is a late medieval chapel that was originally located at Longworth Manor House, about a mile from its current location.
After centuries of decline and agricultural uses it was moved stone by stone to its present site.
This small but atmospheric building is a remarkable Victorian re-interpretation of a Medieval chapel and retains many 14th century features.
Its relocation to Bartestree was part of the revival of Roman Catholicism in Herefordshire.
The chapel was built in circa 1390 as part of Longworth Hall but fell into disuse after the Reformation, serving at times as a barn and cider press. It was relocated to the newly constructed Bartestree Convent in 1870, where it served as the public chapel attached to the nun’s church, adjacent.
E.W.Pugin (1834–75), Gothic Revivalist and son of the celebrated Augustus Welby Pugin was architect of the early stages of Bartestree Convent. He may have been involved in the relocation of the chapel which was overseen by Benjamin Bucknall who succeeded Pugin as the convent architect.
The chapel today is thus a Victorian interpretation of a medieval building incorporating extensive medieval fabric brought from Longworth. The chancel has a three-bay early 15th century oak roof, while the north (liturgically west) end has a plain, probably 16th century roof. There is a fine stone altar reredos of 1869, also probably by Pugin. The stained glass and statutory is by Hardmans of Birmingham.
When the convent closed in the 1990s the chapel again became derelict; it was vandalised and it lucky to have survived. The chapel was transferred to HCT in 2001. The first phase of restoration included repair of the roof and was completed in 2010, with the help of a grant from English Heritage. The redbrick nun’s church adjacent is, along with the rest of the convent, now converted into a private house.
Longworth Chapel has an active volunteer committee and, together we are working to raise funds for the completion of the restoration work, which will include the conservation and reinstatement of the stained glass window.
In 2010, thanks to the support of Historic England and other funders HCT completed the full repair of the roof and repointing of the exterior walls to keep it weathertight. and was completed in June 2010. There is much still to do and we would welcome your support….
HCT has made the building sound and we are now conserving and reinstalling the fine Hardman stained glass window. The next and major phase of work is to complete further external and internal repairs and to improve facilities for visitors to enable much greater use of this special building.
Hardman Window Update
Thanks to a generous grant from Historic England and to donations from very many trusts, foundations and individuals conservation and reinstatement of the magnificent Hardman & Co East window at last got underway in September 2017.
It has taken nearly two years to construct the necessary jigsaw of funding and we are absolutely delighted that the project is finally underway.
Thanks to our generous donors one of the glories of this small chapel will soon be restored.
Grid reference: SO568406
You can download a brief guide to Longworth Chapel here.
Longworth Chapel stands alongside Bartestree Convent, now converted to flats and called Frome Court.
The nearest rail station is 5 miles away at Hereford. Bus route 476 connects to Bartestree.
Please park in the car park to St Michael’s Hospice. Visitors to the chapel may use this free of charge by kind permission – follow the signs. Please take care not to use the residents’ private parking bays immediately adjacent to the chapel.
In the area
The city of Hereford is 5 miles from Longworth Chapel. Hereford Cathedral is open daily for visitors, and there you can see the Mappa Mundi and Chained Library Exhibition. Not far from the Cathedral is the Hereford Museum and Art Gallery as well as the Black and White House Museum, in a remarkable 17th century timber-framed building.
Herefordshire has wonderful countryside and many other towns that are well worth visiting, such as Ledbury, Hay-on-Wye (the literary festival is in May/June annually) and Leominster.
Bartestree, nr. Hereford
Access to the exterior at all time. The chapel is normally locked and visitors can obtain the key from the reception of the adjacent St Michael’s Hospice during daylight hours, 7 days a week. You will be asked to sign for the key. Please return it promptly to the Hospice after your visit.