Saturday, 20 December 2014

St Mary the Virgin Purley

Purley on Thames is an old Berkshire parish very near Reading. The village dates back to Saxon times and the church here was founded around 1121 and described as 'ancient' in a founding charter of Reading Abbey. It was burnt down in 1135 during the Anarchy and the Normans rebuilt it in 1150. Graves dating from the 10th & 11th century were uncovered about a foot under the surface in some excavation work in 1982. I came here to look for a grave of someone killed in the Reading Bombing of 1943 unfortunately my search came to nought and the church was locked as well which is not uncommon in the area. These are a few photos I took while I was there.

Nice lych gate leading to the churchyard
St Mary the Virgin, one of the nice feature's I like is the belltower

Few old headstones lined up against the churchyard wall

The churchyard itself on the south side of the church
Path leading down to the entrance porch

The clock which was was probably fitted around the 17th or 18th century, one thing I like here is the coat of arm dated 1626 no doubt when the belltower was built.

View up the belltower and one of the war graves in the churchyard

This headstone is a memorial, one of the persons mentioned was killed in a bombing raid on the Rhine

North side of the church where they have extended the church. A feature I am not keen on as it spoils the look of the church, I think this was were the 10th century burials were uncovered
View along the west end of the churchyard 


St Mary the Virgin looking from the South East side of the churchyard
That's it for this year. May I wish you all a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year and thank you for taking the time to read my Blogs.


  1. i enjoy the clock. what a beauty. have a great day! ( :

  2. What history here! Thanks for sharing. Tom The Backroads Traveller

  3. Beautiful, historic church.
    I love the architecture.
    Greetings from Polish.

    Merry Christmas!


  4. fantastic church and grave yard. It worth to preserve it for next generations. Merry Christmas from the heart of Europe

  5. Bill - have a wonderful Christmas and a fabulous 2015.

  6. Hey There,

    I notice that you are still very active on your blog. Nice to see your last posts ;-)
    As you might have noticed, I'm not that active on my blog anymore. I still have two blogspot pages for my photos and I am very active on my Google Plus page. I can tell you that Google Plus is a nice way to meet other photographers and bloggers. Do you know that you can show your new messages of your blogspot page automatically on Google Plus?

    I am looking forward to welcoming you on my page:

    Greetings from the Netherlands! ;-)
    Gert Jan