High on the hill – Go somewhere you’ve never been today!


Although the view is now verdant and shrouded in handsome trees, only a few decades ago the whole hill was surrounded by a sprawling, filthy slum. Not all change is for the worst.

Here’s a quick one I’ve been trying to get time to run all week – today, there’s an open day at St. Matthews Church in Walsall, the prominent landmark at the very crest of Church Hill. You can take tours, go up the tower, and visit the vaults.

This venerable church has parts that are 800 years old – the building is alive with history.

The event is part of the Heritage Open Day project, and there are lots of other events going on. Check out the website.

If you can’t make it, theres a brilliant gallery of photos at the foot of this post, sent to the blog by reader and local historian Clive Roberts, who recently visited the vaults.

Please do visit if you can.

St Matthew’s Parish Church, Walsall – Open Day
St Matthew’s Parish Church, St Matthew’s Close, Walsall, West Midlands, WS1 3DG

The Parish Church of St Matthew’s Parish Church is celebrating its 800th anniversary this year with a series of events and heritage open days such as this. Visitors to our church can see a 12th century crypt, beneath the chancel, including parts of the east wall of the medieval church; a 15th century chancel, with a set of finely carved misericords or choir stalls; a 15th century font decorated with the coats of arms of local families; the monument to Sir Roger Hillary of Bescot, a 14th century knight and courtier; the nave, remodelled in 1819-21 with an impressive plaster ceiling; stained glass windows by Burlison & Grylls, Clayton & Bell and other makers; a fine bell tower with a tall spire; and outside, a rare archway under the chancel, allowing access around the churchyard; and a fine view, weather permitting, of the surrounding hills including Cannock Chase and the Wrekin. Unsupervised creche facility available for visitors to the church

Opening Times

Saturday 13 September: 1000-1500
Additional information

Max 20 people per tour/session.


Look out for the church spire – we’re on Church Hill, overlooking Walsall Town Centre

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4 Responses to High on the hill – Go somewhere you’ve never been today!

  1. Great photos, Bob. The misericords look seriously impressive.

  2. Elaine O'Neill says:

    What a fantastic building full of history and such a warm welcome. We took our Grandsons aged 5 and 7 they loved going down the crypt up the tower and looking at the beautiful carvings in wood and stone. Thank you.

  3. Pingback: A son of The Wood | BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog

  4. Clive says:

    Photos of the crypt; back in history, what we now know as the crypt was at one time at ground level and a main part of the church building, note the windows (not needed under ground) thats the clue!

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