St Mary the Virgin, Great Washbourne

23 May 2008


During the Spring Bank Holiday weekend we visited the old church in Great Washbourne.  Roger drives through the village regularly on his way to bowls, but had not spotted it previously.  Helen was with us, having made a flying visit from London.



The church of St Mary the Virgin at Great Washbourne may date from Saxon times, though the style and layout of the surviving structure would be typical of the early Norman period.


The chancel, seen to the left on this picture, was rebuilt in 1642 according to an inscription on the east wall.  The vestry, built on to the north wall, is accessed from the nave through the original north door and is a much later addition.



The stonework of much of the exterior walling is irregular (some can be seen each side of the tympanum pictured to the right), which could indicate Saxon construction.



The tympanum over the south doorway is unusual, the carving being on an irregularly cut stone slab.






(left)  The interior of the nave looking east.  The squints each side of the Norman chancel arch can be seen.




(right)  Helen was tempted to ring the bell, whose rope descends into the chancel.





The plaster on the interior walls has peeled in places, showing the walls had originally been painted, though the areas revealed are too small to see what was depicted.









Roger and Helen in the churchyard.





In the lane outside a fine specimen of the pink flowering chestnut.



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