Saturday 29 April 2017

St Mary East lsley

St Mary stands on a hill looking over the village of East Ilsley in the edge of the Berkshire Downs and is just off the Ridgeway. The Village used to have a Sheep Market which was the second largest after Smithfield after London through out the 19th Century. Not much I can tell you about this church other than what I found in Wikipedia.
 "The church is partly Norman; has an early English style chancel, and an embattled tower; it was enlarged and repaired in 1845 and contains an old monument of one of the Hildesleys, ancient lords of the manor."
When I arrived there was the Sunday service going on so I took the opportunity to go around the outside as it finished off and was lucky to manage to get some photos inside before it was locked up

Walking in the gate to the church you and faced with the porch leading into the church

To the left you can see the East end of the church and North aisle

The North side churchyard

Walking around to the Eeast end

Then round to the South side where you cans see the South aisle

The South side of  St Mary's
Walking around to the West end and the Bell Tower

Above the porch and on the left of it this fenced family vault

The churchyard over at the East end of the churchyard

Where you will come around to the South side

Unusual old brick tomb deteriorating

Quite a few of the headstones hear are falling over

Above and usual cross to see, right looking over to the west end of the churchyard

On the left another unusual head & foot stone with fenced tomb behind. On the right more conventional type monuments

The west side of the churchyard where there seems to be a lot of crosses as monuments

and this rather nice angle looking to Heaven

Above a beautiful old cast iron monument still readable at over 100 years old

More crosses and an Angel

Above the angel looking down on the body below. Right a stepped stile over the wall leading to a footpath from the village

and last looking towards the North again

The nave of the church with its box pews

and a view of the South aisle with more box pews

inside the chancel which is quiet long or maybe it is because of the wide angel lens I used

Above the chancel arch and choir stalls in the foreground

The altar and chancel window

Better view of the altar

Looking back out into the nave

On the left the pulpit and inside this inscription, goes to show some wealth came to the village at one time

The view out of the Pulpit

Like to know how old this bench is but I'd guess at the 1700's from the look

The old church organ

Looking towards the back and the bell loft

above a memorial where the wording has faded. Not sure of the relevance of the fenced alcove but have seen similar in other churches

Memorial to William Jones Williams
a beautiful war memorial to those who lost their lives in the wars

More areas of the church which have an interest though I forgot to see what was written on the plaque in front of the statue

Rather old memorial plaque

and one not quite so old

The stained glass window above the memorial you have just seen

One thing I think is worth looking at is the stained glass windows in the church

The all look to be by the the same manufacturer, I was lucky to get a shot of the on on the right as it's in the small vestry

Above the church font.

above St Mary's church taken with my wide angle lens. 
Last view of the faces of the two angels in the churchyard

That I felt worth another view of

I will say thank you to the parishioner who stayed behind to let me take my photos and even offered me a chance to see the clock which I declined as I felt I had kept him enough from his Dinner. The Church needs some support as I was told the congregation has dwindled, in fact there were only eight at the service that morning which for the size of the village seems a little sad. They are looking to ways to keep the church open so some re-ordering could be in hand as it needs quite a lot of money spent on the place. I hope it comes off as it would be sad to see the church close for good.

Have a peacefull week end