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A Tour of the Priory

The Rood Screen - between the nave and chancel in Little Malvern Priory

The Rood Screen

We do not know where the fourteenth century screen, that which today divides the ‘nave’ from the chancel, originally stood. The richly carved rood-beam, which now rests on the screen, was originally higher up. Notice the trailing vine pattern on its western side.

Choir stalls at Little Malvern Priory

Monks Stalls

Immediately to the east of the screen are the ten Monks’ stalls, which would have formerly stood under the Tower and across the now walled-up transept arches. The destruction of the stained glass is thought to have been wrought by Cromwell’s troops during the Civil War. The carved misericords were also hacked away but the hand rests remain, one of the best being that of two pigs with their heads in a trough (third on right) while the sometimes grotesque little human faces are said to be caricatures of the Monks or of the craftsmen.

Above the stalls, on either side of the chancel, are squints to allow a view of the High Altar from the Chapels, which were not necessarily restricted to the use’ of Lepers. Since this was a Priory Church, the Monks would have used the Chancel, and the laity would have used the side (chapels, having had no access to the Chancel.

Choir stalls at Little Malvern Priory

Floor tiles

The fifteenth century tiles on the sanctuary floor are similar to those in the Priory Church at Great Malvern, and no doubt came from the same kilns for they were made in large quantities and exported even as far as St. David’s in Wales. It is believed that the tiles were made in Malvern.


The font, which appears to have been made from the base of a pillar, is of no special interest. The present ceiling replaced, subsequent to 1824, is a wooden one that was divided into panels with a carved boss at each intersection. Some of these bosses have been preserved and arranged in the form of a cross on the present plaster ceiling. Notice also the wooden frieze of the original ceiling above the East wall.

Interior view of Little Malvern Priory showing the hatchments on the walls


The hatchments on the walls are the coats-of-arms of the different families at the Court; those on each side of the organ are of the Russells, while those on the left hand side of the Chancel belong to the Beringtons.

the Weepers at Little Malvern Priory


The window, now in the North Chapel arch, was originally the East Window of this Chapel. On the fourteenth century tracery is a fragment of contemporary glass that is thought to represent God the Father in a group depicting the 'Coronation of the Virgin'. On the ledge opposite this window are the two sides a table-tomb, on which are four charming figures of ‘weepers'. It is of late fourteenth century work, and may have been the tomb, which Thomas Habington saw in the North transept arch, and on which be thought were the arms of Bridges.

The bell at Little Malvern Priory


There were formerly five bells in the tower of which only one remains today. Recent research suggests that this bell, just over 26 inches in diameter and weighing about 4 l\8 cwts, is probably a genuine example of the work of John of Gloucester and dates from about 1350. It is inscribed in gothic capitals without any break between the words and with two letters upside down -"Ave Maria Gracia Plena Domins Tecvm" which points to it having been the "Angelus" bell; that is that which was and still is often rung at 6 a.m., 12 noon and 6 p.m. in memory of the Annunciation and in honour of the Incarnation.

Objects of interest

Much has and is being done to beautify the interior by local weavers, woodcarvers, metal workers and flower arrangers. The church possesses a chalice with paten cover dated 1571, which is still used. It also has a fifteenth century crucifix, given to the church, which is decorated with medallions showing the symbols of the four evangelists and is so constructed that it can be used as a processional cross.

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