Saturday, 18 July 2015

St Mary Newnham Murren

St Mary isa grade II listed building and dates back to the 12th century, was restored in 1849. The church was declared redundant in 1973 and now belongs to the Church Conservation Trust   I have visited the church before but came back to get some new photos for my blog. You find the church at the end of a farm track beside the farmhouse you can also see it walking along the footpath from Mongewell.

View of St Mary as you come through the gate, I thought my photo looked out of shape but looking at another photo of the church gives the same look

Looking up the north side of the church, the worn grass marks the path to the porch

the east end of the churchyard
19th century porch

West end showing the bellcote

further along from the west end is this wonderful old Yew tree
Headstop carved in the buttress supporting the bellcote

back along to the west end of the church
 and a view of the South side 

On entering the church you are greeted by a view to the south aisle

and walking along to the chancel gives this view

The chancel looks quite devoid of memorials on the wall like other churches
Here we look to the chancel arch

which if you look up has writing on

below are a couple of tombs which still have the inscriptions on but the pulpit and pews over them make them hard to make out

The altar and stained glass chancel window

The altar is plain and unadorned and the covering hides a Jacobean altar

here we look back to the nave and looking out I think it must have been quite hard to see the service by the altar

 The final on one of the choir stalls

which are beautifully made and carved

The stained glass window really does stand out

I took photo's of each of the panels in the window and these are cropped from the photo's
The first shows the birth of Christ

Second the baptism by St John

third the last supper

and fourth the resurrection. Seems a shame very few people come here to appreciate them

there are a couple of lancet windows in the church, one on the left is in the chancel and the stained glass on by the pulpit

The pulpit is another Jacobean feature you can see

 Looking down from the pulpit will give a wonderful view of the church

Looking back to the pulpit

At the back is the font though I could not tell you the age

 The only memorial is on the south aisle wall and is in Latin

St Mary does have a small church organ
This is the view you get from the organ

The two ceilings, one on the left is the chancel and the right the nave
 One thing I noticed missing in the church the last visit was the lack of electric lights

but they still have the candle lit lamps on the walls. I noticed there was a painting missing when I came in

This one which was there the last time I came. I can only hope it's gone off for Restoration it was damaged which I last saw it

 Going back outside I'll start over on the south side of the churchyard

Which you can see has graves with fresh flowers indicating it is still in use

as you can see new graves have been added

but there are parts which are old 

and a corner of the church which is new

The churchyard looking old and becoming overgrown

You can see come across the odd grave with a foot & headstone

or the ones with some nice carvings on

though the inscriptions are lost to time

on the east end you can find a couple

one which has some nice carving on the outside and the inscription still clear

 This poor wooden cross will soon be lost and forgotten as the Ivy takes hold

Over near the fence you can see one which lays forgotten, ivy growing over and will soon cover it all

The far end of the churchyard lay these two graves, how long I wonder till they become overgrown.
If you happen to be walking along the Ridgeway and go through Mongewell the you could do worse that making a detour along the path to Crowmarsh where you will find the church.
I'll leave you with this photo of some fungi which I came across growing on the cut off section of the Yew tree. Have a wonderful Sunday.


  1. i love the head carving ... reminds me of a boat/ship. love the stain glass windows too. ( :

  2. This church and old cemetery fascinates me. Such history here. Glad you shared it with us.

  3. Thank you for the tour. What a marvelous church structure. What does it mean to be redundant? No longer needed? Who cares for it then? Is it used at all?

  4. Bill, how do you find all these beauties? Tom The Backroads Traveller

  5. I like that you show all the details in this church...thanks.

  6. What a wonderful little place! I'm glad to see that it is taken care of even though it's not in use.

  7. Beautiful old and charming church. And the old necropoilis