The Sanctuary

On the closure of the College by Henry VIII the tithe (tax) income privileges were sold off. The duty of employing a Priest and looking after the Chancel went with the privileges. A share in them was purchased in 1605 for £440 by the son of a local glove-maker, one William Shakespeare. This, and not his ability as a poet and playwright, gave him the right of burial in the sanctuary.

From the outside, the Church building has changed little from Shakespeare's time: a wooden spire was added in 1675 only to be replaced with the present stone one in 1763. Until last century there stood a charnel house to the south of the chancel. Here the bones of those dug up to make room for new graves were laid to rest. This charnel-house, like the College building, has now gone.

If the outside has changed little, the same can not be said for the inside. Holy Trinity has gone through many and varied re-orderings as liturgical fashions have changed. The most recent was at the turn of the twentieth century, and something tells us it won't be the last.