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St. Mary’s Church

About St Mary's Church

A team of volunteers lovingly maintain St Mary's and its grounds. Regular services are held in the Church as well as café church mornings.

Every Wednesday evening, the village bell ringers meet to sound the refurbished English bells.

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The beautiful and iconic church of St Mary stands beside the river, at the west end of the village. Nestled beyond a tall avenue of lime trees and though an arched gateway.

Built around the 12th century with a round west tower, octagonal top, nave, chancel and south porch, this unique building has a rich history with many special features adding to its character. 

The tower arch is early English taking up almost the entire width of the aisle-less nave and includes a tall west window. The tower itself has two lower Norman stages. The octagonal upper stage is believed to be fifteenth century and with the porch, the last real structural change to an essentially Norman church. 


The entranceway to the church is through an ancient doorway, also dated to about 1200.


Decorated with common Transitional Gothic motifs, zig-zag stonework with grotesque heads, and a slightly pointed arch.


The jambs (a figure carved on the jambs of a doorway) are carved in the same style. 

Inside on the north wall are three early English lancet windows. The east window is in the Perpendicular style and replaced a double Norman window. 

The Norman font, under the tower is carved with four bands of foliage decoration and sits on a stepped plinth.


The plinth is carved with a Greek script which translates roughly as "Cleanse your sins and not only your face". 

At the east end of the nave, beside a lectern of oak and marble, is an early medieval piscina.


Much of the remaining interior decoration is Victorian, though there are several late 17th-century memorial slabs set into the wall of the sanctuary.


The other interior features a series of painted inscriptions which run along the walls at the roofline. These date from 1870. To the left and right of the eastern window are two large wall paintings depicting St Gabriel (holding a lily, one of his symbols) and Mary created by Nathaniel Westlake, who also created the stained glass in the east window.


The inscriptions are in Latin which indicate pre-Reformation survivals. Both glass and marouflages were commissioned by the rector at the time, Frederick Menzies. 

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