Main index


Turville Fingest Frieth Fawley Medmenham U.R.C.

Welcome to
St Mary the Virgin, Hambleden

  The Font

Sir Cope D'Oyley monument

Kenrick Mausoleum

  Church History

The church is made of flint and chalk with stone dressings under an old tiled roof.

The Norman church had a central tower which collapsed in 1703 and a new tower was built at the west end in 1721, and heightened in the early 1880's. The tower holds eight bells. The oldest is one of the few pre-Reformation bells still in use and may have first been rung at about the time of the victory at Agincourt (1415).

From the lychgate the yew lined path leads to the late 19th century timber south porch, built to protect the richly moulded 14th century south door.

The nave opens out into the wide trancepts and the chancel is lit by a large 15th century traceried east window.

To the right of the south door is a 12th century (probably Norman) stone font. Opposite the south door is a blocked doorway which, before its blocking up, was intended for the Devil's exit during baptism. This is a feature of many of the churches in the area.

The north transept is the oldest part of the church. The eastern arcade of two bays was built around 1230. At the eastern end of the transept against the north wall is the impressive monument of Sir Cope D'Oyley (died 1633), his wife Martha and her ten children. Each of the family is depicted as a kneeling alabaster figure; those children holding skulls died before their parents.

In the south transept is a 16th century carved wooden panel which has been incorporated into an altar. It is known as the Wolsey Altar as it includes the Arms of Cardinal Wolsey and Bishop Fox.

In the churchyard to the north side of the church is the domed Kenrick Mausoleum erected by Clayton Kenrick in memory of his father and sister. On the east side of the north transept can be seen the outer stonework of a 12th century doorway, possibly the reused west doorway of the Norman church.

For more pictures of the church click here              

click here to return to main index page