Saturday, 11 February 2017

St Mary the Virgin Whitchurch

I visited this church back in 2009 after I visited the church in Pangbourne (St James the Less) as it is only across the river . St Mary sits a little off the River Thames near the Thames Path. You can see the spire as you walk over Christchurch Bridge one of two remaining Toll Bridges on the Thames. The church dates back to Saxon Times The history here comes from Wikipedia "The Church of England parish church of Saint Mary was originally Norman, and was altered in the 15th century. In 1858 the Gothic Revival architect Henry Woodyer completely rebuilt the church, retaining only the Norman south door, Perpendicular Gothic south porch and a few other items. The parish is now a member of the Langtree Team Ministry: a Church of England benefice that includes also the parishes of Checkendon, Ipsden, North Stoke, Stoke Row and Woodcote"  You can read a more in-depth history on the Langtree  Mistry Website 
So far I have visited three of their churches and will visit the rest in due course.

Walking across Whitchurch Bridge you cannot help notice the church spire. My first view of the church was when I came in the back entrance

Walking around to the North Side

Th eporch on the south side

The small spire on the left and the right a tomb near the porch

View from the south side look to the spire

Above the vestry on the church and on the left the chancel end and North aisle

A very uncluttered North side of the church

A couple of views of the Lych gate which would probably look a lot nicer with some of the growth cut back bu then this was 7 years ago so may have changed a bit now

Above the porch leading to the church

Either side of the porch are these headstops which are a bit weather worn now

Above the doorway is this carving of Christ on the cross which looks a little newer

The entrance doorway is Norman the porch protects it now, above is this carving

You will have to forgive my internal photos I was using a compact rather than DSLR like I do now. Above the chancel and choir stalls

Above the chancel arch

The two photos above show the chancel window and the ceiling

Looking towards the back of the church and the structure supporting the belltower & spire

The other way looking towards the altar

One of the stained glass windows which might be at the back of the nave

The nave windows and memorials on it

Above the church font while to the left is the North aisle

This magnificent memorial is in the chancel

The tomb in the nave floor stands out along the Aisle 

The South wall is littered with memorials around the doorway

Above the church brasses you see were saved and placed on display either side of the chancel arch

You can see a lot of wonderful stained glass in the church

In fact most of the windows were of stained glass

I'm unable to place this stained glass window

The window on the left is the Chancel window, to the right a lancet window

Above on e of the North aisle windows while on the left is a mural below one in the South

The Choir stalls by the Organ

On the South side of the Chancel

The North Aisle with the screened off organ

More memorials which are on the South wall of the nave

All the memorials I notice are in good condition and easy to read 

Above the magnificent tomb near the porch. On the right an overgrown part hiding many graves 

Above cross growing in the brambles while to the left a fenced vault still clings on while the undergrowth catches up

The churchyard near the Lychgate

Above Hymn books stacked by the Chrurchwardens seat

I'll leave you with this view of the church looking along the south side 
Have a Peaceful Weekend


  1. Bill, I always enjoy the sight of a church steeple that can be seen above the surrounding town. The gate that so many of your churches have is rarely seen back home. Thanks for sharing.