Original 11th century walls
The whole of the south wall is the original 11th century wall, as are the east and west walls,
though the windows are Victorian. The long south wall is built of stone; although the east and
west walls are made of brick. Prior to the 1857 rebuilding there were galleries along the back
and north walls, to accommodate an orchestra. From the late 17th to the mid-19th Century, the
church was decorated very plainly in the somewhat Calvinistic Hawksmoor style.
At the back of the church, is a hanging bell-rope; used to toll the bell to mark the
consecration of the wine and the host during communion services, and to remind villagers
that Holy Communion is taking place.
The large hipped spire was built in 1857 to replace the much shorter spire that preceded it.
The belfry houses six bells. However, the spire wasn't strong enough to cope with the huge
stresses caused by the weight of the bells when they were being rung. A swinging bell exerts
4½ times its weight downwards and 2½ times its weight sideways. To resolve this problem,
the Rector turned to an unusual source for help. The belfry now rests on four massive iron
pillars manufactured for the church by the workshops of the Great Western Railway.
The south door
The south door ,opposite the main door, shows a great deal of St Mary's history.
There is infill to accommodate the 15th Century Perpendicular arch and the solid Victorian
door. The medieval south porch includes a gargoyle that dates back to the Saxon period.
Medieval Roof Timbers
The roof timbers over the main body of the church are medieval. However, the timbers
over the north aisle (nearest the main church door) are Gothic Revival.
This north aisle roof was built when the Victorians extended the church to accommodate
the expanding village; prior to this, the space had contained two chantry chapels and
later, the village school.
Stained glass windows
The stained glass window to the right of the altar is medieval Flemish.
The saint/bishop is unidentified (and unidentifiable), because it was almost
certainly bought ready-made from an itinerant glassmaker, to become whichever saint
the Rector wanted it to be. The diamond-shaped glass panels surrounding the medieval
figure are Victorian 'improvements'.