St Mary's famous
To the Glory of the
Great Architect of
Professor James Stevens Curl
"Professor James Stevens Curl is our nation's leading expert on this period of British architecture’”
"Fulke Greville’s world was one in which the realms of the Magus, the Alchemist, and the delver into obscure byways were very evident, sometimes submerged, and sometimes less so.
It was a world in which the Occult, Religious Belief (not necessarily of an orthodox kind), and Astronomical and Alchemical investigations played their parts…
It may represent a ‘Temple’, a reference to the Temple of Solomon near which the murdered Hiram Abiff was buried
… and the ceremonial sword that once was associated with the monument would appear to have Rosicrucian allusions…of great national importance."
Fulke Greville Monument in the Chapter-House of the Collegiate Church of St Mary, Warwick, James Stevens Curl, 7/12/2009.
Professor Joscelyn Godwin
“Fulke Greville’s monument in St Mary’s Church, Warwick ... it is obviously a symbolic construction of proto-Masonic and probably Rosicrucian inspiration ...
Its symbolism speaks of the mystical spirituality of the period that blended esoteric Christianity with Hermetic, Kabbalistic, Platonic, and Pythagorean influences.
This is part of the history of the Church, both the physical church of St Mary’s and the Anglican Church itself."
The World’s Oldest Rosicrucian Temple in St Mary’s Church,
The Anglican church of St. Mary’s Warwick, is the only Christian church in the world which contains both a Masonic pulpit and a Rosicrucian Temple.
It was built in 1618 by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sir Fulke Greville (later Lord Brooke 1554-1628), who is widely believed to have been the first English Grand master of the Rosicrucians.
To build it Greville took over the entire Chapter House. It has its own entrance and on entering one is met with two pillars with obelisks above them.
The Masonic pulpit was placed in St Mary's Church in 1897 by the Warwickshire Freemason's led by Francis Greville, 5th Earl of Warwick. The beautifully carved pulpit is heavily carved with many Masonic symbols and a carved dedication:
To the Glory of the
Great Architect of the Universe
Every year, the Warwickshire Freemasons process through the streets of Warwick in full regalia to St Mary's Church for a special service there.
Leading experts have identified the Chapter House and its monument as some sort of ‘temple’, probably Rosicrucian. In Professor Joscelyn Godwin’s opinion: "it is obviously a symbolic construction of proto-Masonic and probably Rosicrucian inspiration … This is part of the history of the Church, both the physical church of St. Mary’s and the Anglican Church itself."
The architectural historian, architect, and author, Professor James Stevens-Curl, described by the Daily Mail as "our nation's leading expert on this period of British architecture", has written that:
"Greville’s monument may represent a Temple, a reference to the Temple of Solomon near which the murdered Hiram Abiff was buried … and the ceremonial sword that once was associated with the monument would appear to have Rosicrucian allusions… of great national importance."
In Professor Stevens-Curl’s Opinion:"There can be no other explanation for the sheer grandeur of the monument other than that there is something very special there. What is absolutely certain is that the size, cost and magnificence of the monument are intended to speak to us. There are plenty of clues about what it might be, and they suggest this is an incredibly exciting find."
There is a strong possibility that Fulke Greville’s private temple, in St Mary’s Church, Warwick, may be an older purpose-built Masonic Temple than Freemasons Hall in Queen Street, East Sunderland.
It seems fitting that the Rosicrucians and the Freemasons should share a common church in St. Mary’s, Warwick, because the Rosicrucians have long claimed to have been a source of Modern Freemasonry and in the 18th century, "many Freemasons became Rosicrucians and Rosicrucianism was established in many lodges." Wikipedia.
St. Mary’s is an historic landmark and tourist attraction and people have worshiped on this site for over 1,000 years. It is one of the largest and most interesting churches in Britain and the Beauchamp Chantry is recognised as the finest medieval chapel in England.
Taken all together it can be said that St. Mary’s Church, Warwick, is a very fascinating religious building; unique in all the world - three churches in one. Well worth a visit.
Every year Freemasons parade through the streets of Warwick to St Mary's Church for a special service and a serman preached by the incumbent vicar from the Church's famous Masonic pulpit.
The Arms of Fulke Greville
Fulke Greville, Lord Brooke named the Jerusalem sword after his namesake and alleged ancestor, Fulke V, King of Jerusalem - The Templar King.
The Rosicrucian roses and vines on the Jerusalem Sword. msde circa 1604 (V & A).