GLANVILLES WOOTTON

 

 

ST MARY THE VIRGIN

 

For more information please visit:

www.whitehartvalechurchesdorset.co.uk

 

 

St Mary's church, Glanvilles Wootton, outside

St Mary's church, Glanvilles Wootton, inside

 

St Mary’s  Church is a delightful example of a rural Wessex church, which like so many parish churches, reveals its evolution through time. There has been a place of worship here for about 700 years and the building still sits, in its churchyard, between the Old Rectory and Church Farm. It is at the centre of the local community, even though only limited numbers may worship there on a regular basis. There are eight listed buildings in the village of which St Mary’s and Round Chimneys farmhouse are the only ones listed at a high grade (II*). St Mary’s shows accretive development during late medieval times and the south chapel is a particularly fine example of a pre-Reformation chantry chapel.

In 1344 Sibyl de Glaunvyll gave certain lands and funds for the provision of a chaplain and for the building of a chantry chapel in which there would be a daily celebration of Mass. A west tower was built in about 1400, though it is not attached to the chantry chapel and so it seems likely that a nave and chancel may also have been built around this time. However, we do know that the nave and chancel were either built or rebuilt in the 15th century along with a south porch, the whole was restored and reseated in 1741 and then the chancel was substantially rebuilt in 1875-6 by Crickmay, when the nave was extensively restored. The western doorway dates from the 16th century.

Principally the church is in the Perpendicular style, either medieval as in the tower, or a Victorian recreation, as in the nave and separately gabled chancel. The two-bay south chapel is the exception, being purely Decorated – and very fine Decorated at that – with flowing tracery in the windows. The church has a peal of six bells with an established band of ringers. These bells were refurbished in 1996 as a community project, and ringers from other areas occasionally visit.