St Gabriel's Church
To cater for the growing community in Hanley Swan in the mid-19th century, a new church with seating for 420 was built on a site given by Sir Edmund Lechmere and paid for at a cost of £6000 by a retired Liverpool merchant, Samuel Martin, who lived in one of the big houses along Roberts End. He added all the stained glass in the east window in 1878.
Built of Malvern stone by William Porter of Malvern Wells, the church was designed in the Gothic Revival style by the pre-eminent architect of the Victorian era, Sir George Gilbert Scott, who also designed the Albert Memorial and St Pancras station in London. The church spire of Bath stone contains a peal of six bells.
St Gabriel’s opened in 1874 and shortly afterwards two Wellingtonia trees were planted on either side of the lych gate; they are now as tall as the church tower. A fine modern stained glass window by Thomas Denny, reflecting the landscapes around Malvern, was installed in 1987. Like many churches up and down the country, maintenance is an increasingly heavy burden for its small congregation. Friends of St Gabriel’s have raised £30,000 for repairs to the roof and have commissioned architectural plans to convert the west end of the nave into a multi-purpose meeting room.