The Castle Bromwich Parish Chest
Every church had to have a lockable chest in which to keep important documents. It was known as the parish chest. Records of baptisms, marriages and funerals were kept in it as well as the
minutes of parish meetings and any legal documents. A chest usually had three locks so that it could not be tampered with. The priest and the two church wardens would have a key each and all
of them would have to be present at the same time to open the chest.
Castle Bromwich parish chest looks something like the one in the picture. It was made about the year 1500 during the reign of Henry VII and was carved from a single piece of a tree trunk over 2 metres long. It is known as dug-out chest. The ends of the chest are rounded, which is unusual, and the lid is also rounded. For many years the chest was displayed at Blakesley Hall Museum; the church sold the chest to a private collector in the year 2000.
The Castle Bromwich Communion Cup
This silver cup is for sharing the wine during communion service. Made in 1634 during the reign of Charles I, the cup has been on display in the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery for many years. The Museum has now bought the cup and the money raised put towards building the Church Community Hall.
The cup was given to the church during the time that Rev Samuel Pegge of Aston church was the curate here. But it is not known who gave this expensive gift.
It may have been the gift of the lord of the manor. In 1634 Sir Walter Devereux gave the manor to his son, Essex Devereux a a wedding gift. The cup may well have been to celebrate that occasion. Sadly Sir Essex drowned in a boating accident on the River Teme near his father's house at Leigh in Worcestershire only five years later.
In 1717 the three medieval bells were melted down and recast to make a ring of five bells. The Castle Bromwich bell ringers have kept the bells ringing out ever since. Find out about bell ringing on the Castle Bromwich Bell Ringers' website. Click the bell!
'A History of Castle Bromwich for Young People' written by William Dargue 2016 for the Castle Bromwich Bellringers.
We’ve been ringing here for 500 years and are keen to involve local people in our ancient art. Contact us via our church website, if you want learn to ring or visit the tower or have one of us talk to your group about the history of Castle Bromwich, our church or bellringing. Material on this site may be reused only for non-commercial purposes providing appropriate attribution is given (Creative Commons Licence Attribution NonCommercial 4.0) - details on the Contact page.