St Mary's Church
Felmersham, Bedfordshire
 

Church Guide
 

See also: Felmersham - The History of a Riverside Parish

Video of St Mary's Church  (9.32MB)

Built between 1220 and 1240 the most important external feature is the West Front, considered to be one of the finest examples of Early English architecture in the region.
 
The nave is lined with alternate round and octagonal pillars and the central tower is supported on four, finely mounded columns, both of these features are Early English Gothic architecture. A medieval oak screen divides the chancel from the choir.


 

St Marys Church
South View


The West Front

Evidence of an earlier ridge or sloping roof can be seen in the stonework on the west face of the tower. It follows, therefore, that the clerestory windows in the nave were later editions when the roof was raised and flattened possibly in the C14. Note that the tower has two distinct architectural styles, also suggesting later editions.
 
The larger handle on the south door is known as the sanctuary ring. Fugitives could claim sanctuary by holding the ring; they then had the protection of the church.

Church Guide

Download Page 1
 
Download Page 2

On entering the church the first impression is one of space and light. The nave is lined with alternate round and octagonal pillars and the central tower is supported on four, finely mounded columns, both of these features are Early English Gothic architecture. There are traces of paint on the south east nave pillar, indicating that in earlier times the pillars were painted. There are also the remains of wall paintings in the ringing chamber which in former times would have formed part of a chancel arch painting.
 
The chancel was restored in 1853 when large gothic windows were replaced by the present lancet windows. Also in the chancel is a double piscina and an ormbry. Reglazed in 1951, the east window records the deaths of three brothers who were killed in the second world war.
 
 
Felmersham Church Video
A 3:43 minute
video of St Mary's Church
 

 
Looking east towards the screen and east window

The oak screen is in the perpendicular gothic style and can be dated to the early 15C. Other points of interest are the pulpit (1895), the parish bier (1893) and the wooden-framed, flail-locking turret clock (possibly mid-17C).

The Millennium Window was installed in 2001 by public subscription.

< Detail from screen
Showing angels resting on the Ogee arch.
 


The oak screen. circa 1430

 

St Mary's East End

Early English Arcading and Blind Tracery
 on the West Front. Restored in 1991


St Mary's Church history is published in Felmersham - The History of a Riverside Parish
 

Home Page Main Index
 
Tourist Info | Walks | Church Guide | Organisations | Communications | Leisure  | Travel | Schools | Get Interactive | JournalGroups

Copyright 2002  All rights reserved. Revised: September 08, 2016.