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Knowle Parish Church

Knowle Parish Church

According to the records of the British Museum as place called 'Gnolla' was a part of of the parish of Hampton-in-Arden in the early 1200s. This name meant 'on top of higher ground'.

The people of the growing community at Knowle found it difficult to attend church in Hampton, particularly in winter when the Blythe Valley was flooded, and so in 1402 Canon Walter Cook established a further church in Knowle within the Hampton parish.

There is a circular stone at the foot of the chance steps, which is believed to mark the resting place of Walter Cook, founder of the church and of Guild of St Anne, which had it headquarters at the adjacent Guild House. It was the success of this Guild that resulted in the need to expand the church a mere decade after it was first consecrated.

In 1850 Knowle finally broke free from Hampton-in-Arden, becoming a parish in its own right. Shortly afterwards an interior restoration of the church was undertaken, but some features, including the font, remain original. A wooden screen at the eastern end of the nave is a fine specimen of late 15th century craftsmanship. Although the pulpit dates from 1929, it houses an hourglass believed to date from from the 17th century.

The floor of the chancel was raised at one time to permit procession around the church by passing underneath the eastern end, then adjacent to another property. However, this put the church at subsequent structural risk and so this underground passage was filled in again and the floor lowered again a couple of centuries later. This, however, left some stone seats in the southern wall 'high and dry' and out of reach.

In 1921, a chapel in the north transept became a memorial to those Knowle citizens who lost their lives in the First World War, and is now known as the Soldiers' Chapel.