This week I start taking you to some of the churches in West Berkshire, this is an area which is full of old churches that date back to the Saxon times. This week we visit St Mary Great Shefford which is the first of six I visited over a couple of weeks.
Though I had marked this church on my map of one I would like to visit but after looking at the church on a website I moved things forward and visited it sooner than I had intended. It is situated in a beautiful village not far from the M4. Some history off Wikipedia
"The Church of England parish church of Saint Mary is one of two existing round-tower churches in Berkshire. The other one is at St Gregory's parish church at nearby Welford.
St Mary's belongs to the West Downland Benefice, a group of eight neighbouring churches. There is a service held at St Mary's on the first, second and third Sunday of the month."
The approach to the Church is along this avenue of trees which makes a pleasant change.
It brings you out in the churchyard at the East end of the church
Going around to the West end lets you see this wonderful round tower, a very unusual feature in this area
Heading right over on the North side of the churchyard
On the door pillar you can see carvings
Both of them show cats from what I can see
The altar with panel behind
I enhanced the photo a bit to show how beautiful the altar panel was
Above the caved stone pulpit with Left a view of the lectern with Bible and candle holders either side
Here we look down the nave from the pulpit
One side of the altar you can see these two memorials of Henry Browne and his wife Elener who died 4 months apart in 1662 & 1663
Above an enhanced view of the memorial of Reverend Thomas Ashley.
The brass on the Right commemorates the Restoration of the church during the 1800's
Above memorial to Rev William Wilson.
Left one to Thomas Langford and his wife Mary
The church chest
Outside and a view West across the churchyard
Left a fenced tomb chest
This part of the churchyard looks down to the river Lambourn
The North side of the West end churchyard
Looking back East
This part is the new extension to the churchyards the river Lambourn is in the distance
Above I had to take a photo of this little angel watching over it's charge
Right the North side of the churchyard
Looking North from the East end
Ivy covering this tomb
Some older tombs by the yew tree
Above a breaching cross base and pillar with a more modern top
This I think may have been an extension to the old churchyard