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Quick Facts on the Church of St Mary

Short URL
gohist.co/s/319066
Names
Church of St Mary Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Thame Thame Church
Address
Church Road ThameOX9 3AJ
Location
Thame  locality
Oxfordshire  county
England  country
United Kingdom  country
Europe  continent
Main date(s)
c. 1220-60
Coordinates
51.751198° N, 0.981946° W
OS Grid Reference
SP 70385 06318
Opening hours
Usually daily 11-4
Admission
Free
Phone
0184421 3491

Historical Timeline of the Church of St Mary

1215
Royal Charter granted for the market in Thame, which is still held every Tuesday.
1220
Construction of Thame Church begins at the direction of Robert Grossteste, Bishop of Lincoln.
1442
The churchwarden records the construction of the north transept. Based on style, the south transept has a similar date.
1540
Choir stalls from Thame Abbey are brought to Thame Church following the Dissolution of the Monasteries.
1889-97
Major restorations of Thame Church by J.O. Scott.

Description of the Church of St Mary

This large parish church occupies a peaceful, tree-filled churchyard in the village of Thame. It is entered via the south porch, approached by a footpath through the churchyard. There are gargoyles and other characters of various ages to be discovered on the exterior, especially on the north side of the nave.

Thame Church contains many brass memorials of interest, including the following (in the chancel unless otherwise indicated):

  • Thomas Quatremain (d.1342) and wife with son Thomas (d.1398) and wife, on plain tomb-chest (south transept). Only the torso remains of one brass figure.
  • Richard Quatremain (d.1477) and wife with Richard Fowler, probably their godson, on a tomb-chest (south transept). The brass of the woman is headless. The sides of the chest are decorated with quatrefoils separated by canopied niches; two statues remain on the east side.
  • Geoffrey Dormer (c.1502) with two wives and children and symbols of the Evangelists on a tomb chest with large quatrefoils.
  • Civilian and wife (c.1500).
  • Christopher Bridgman (d.1503) and wife.
  • Sir John Clerke (d. 1539): a kneeling brass effigy under a crested stone canopy, on a stone tomb-chest decorated with diapering and shields.
  • John Gayley (d.1543), with headless effigy.
  • Edward Harris (d.1597).

Holly Hayes
October 27, 2011

Listed Building Description

THAME CHURCH ROAD SP7006SW (East side) 8/29 Church of Saint Mary 24/04/51 (Formerly listed as St. Mary's 8 Church)

GV I

Church. Early C13 chancel, nave, transepts, and tower. C14 widening of aisles, south porch; late C14 clerestory and upper stages to tower; mid C15 reconstruction of north and south transepts; restoration of c.1889 by J.O. Scott. Squared coursed stone with ashlar stone dressings; lead roofs to aisles, roofs of nave, chancel, transept and tower not visible; various stone stacks. 5-bay aisled nave, tower, 6-bay chancel, and transepts. 2-storey porch with 2-centre moulded archway; 2-bay quadripartite vault with carved bosses; stone benches to east side of porch; C19 double plank doors with decorative wrought-iron hinges to 2-centred moulded stone doorway with hood mould having faces to end stops. First floor of porch has ogee-canopied image recess to centre with C20 statue of St. Mary, flanked by trefoiled lancets. 3-light reticulated tracery windows to aisle and chancel. 2-light Perpendicular tracery windows to clerestory of nave. 5-light Perpendicular tracery window to south end of south transept. 5-light rectilinear tracery window to west side of south transept. Plain parapet to chancel, aisles, and transept, battlemented parapet to clerestory. North side: early English doorway with plank door to right of chancel. 4 lancets to chancel. 3-light Plate tracery window to right of chancel. light reticulated tracery windows to aisle. 2-light Perpendicular tracery windows to clerestory. 5-light Perpendicular tracery window to north end of north transept. 5-light Rectilinear tracery window to west side of north transept. West end: west window to nave; c.1672 5-light Perpendicular window with uncusped panel tracery add crenellated transoms. West window to north aisle; 2-light reticulated tracery window. East end: 5-light geometrical tracery window. Tower: 3-light Perpendicular tracery windows to each side of lower stage. Two 2-light stone mullion and transom openings, with reticulated tracery to top, to each side of second stage of tower. Battlemented parapet. Interior; probably C19 Perpendicular-style roofs to chancel, nave and aisles. Late C19 wood ceilings with moulded wood ribs to transepts. Shoulder-arched piscina to right of chancel. Altar tomb to Lord Williams of Thame and his first wife, Elizabeth, to centre of chancel: reclining figures at prayer on richly carved chest, attributed to Gerard Johnson the elder, repaired by Willaim Bird of Oxford after the Civil War. C16 choir-stalls to chancel with linen-fold panelling. C17 chancel screen with linen-fold panelling to base and arcade on decorated columns. 2-centred arches to crossing. Late C19 choir-stalls to crossing. C14 screen to north transept with plank base and reticulated tracery above. Early C18 octagonal wood pulpit and sounding board to left of nave-arch. Font has octagonal stone bowl on re-used C12 and C13 stone work. Church has a fine collection of monuments. 2 windows to chancel by Clayton and Bell, north aisle west window by Morris and Co. c.1923. (Buildings of England: Oxfordshire, 1979, p.806-7; V.C.H.: Oxfordshire, Vol.7, 1962, p.205-10).

Listing NGR: SP7038006317

Source: The National Heritage List for England. Reprinted under license.

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