Darlaston St Lawrence
"The Parish Church, St Lawrence, is a plain brick edifice, which was nearly all rebuilt, by subscription, in 1721, except the tower, which was built in 1606 by Thos. Pye, an author of some celebrity. The fabric has been considerably enlarged by the erection of a chancel, which was finished in 1833. The parish registers commence in 1539 and are in good preservation.
[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851]
The rectory is in the patronage of the trustees of the late Rev. C. Simeon, and incumbency of the Rev. George Wm. White, M.A.. There are also large National Schools attached to St Lawrence, established in 1818."
A transcript of the Monumental Inscriptions for St Lawrence, St George and the Wesleyan Methodist churches has been published by the Birmingham & Midland SGH.
The first recorded reference to a church at Darlaston is in the 12th century when the first lord of the manor, William de Darlaston, is believed to have founded the church.
The earliest reference to the fabric of the church occurs in 1606, when the wooden tower was declared to be unsafe and was rebuilt in stone. The whole church was destroyed by fire later in the century and was rebuilt with salvaged material. In 1721 it was enlarged with a new north side built of brick, and in 1807 it was again rebuilt in brick with plain windows in cast iron frames. The noted local historian, Frederick Hackwood, described the building thus: 'In the stern puritanical lines the onlooked would fail at first to recognise that it was a church, except that the tower at the west end, surmounted by a spire, would not occur at the end of a factory'
The present church, on the corner of Church Street and New Street, was largely rebuilt in 1872, and is a building of stone, consisting of a chancel, nave, aisles, west porch, and an embattled western tower, built in 1606, with pinnacles and a lofty spire added at a much later date, containing a clock and eight bells. The tower was restored, the spire rebuilt, and a clock provided in 1905-7.
In the chancel is a memorial window to Archibald Paull Brevitt. A church hall, used as the choir vestry, was erected at the west end of the church in 1931. At the west end is a rich mural painting in oil reprecenting the Crucifixion.
The living is a rectory, in the gift of the Simeon Trustees.
A view of St Lawrence's Church 1998.
Postcard of St Lawrence's Church c 1912
Postcard of St Lawrence's Church (Interior) c 1912
Church of England Registers
The register of the parish church of St Lawrence commences in 1539. The original registers for the period 1539-1971 (Bapts), 1539-1987 (Mar) & 1539-1854 (Bur), and Banns for the period 1754-1866 are deposited at Staffordshire Record Office.
Bishops Transcripts, 1660-1852 (with many gaps) are deposited at Lichfield Record Office.
A transcript of the St Lawrence register for the period 1544-1692 has been published by the Birmingham & Midland SGH.
Nonconformist Church Registers
Records of Nonconformist churches in Darlaston can be found on the Darlaston page.
A list of the Churchwardens of St Lawrence Church, Darlaston from 1615 to 1886.
[Last updated: 27th April 2011, Mike Harbach. © 2001 - 2011]