Thursday, April 27, 2017

St Mary's, Hanbury

Hanbury Church

Occupying a hill top, once the site of an Iron Age fort, there was a monastery here in Saxon times. The present church retains fabric of most centuries from Norman onwards, with many changes in the 18th century, when the tower was rebuilt: this now houses a fine ring of eight bells. The box pews were installed then: the Bearcroft family pew showing their original height, also the gallery at the west end of the nave which bears the arms of Queen Elizabeth II, carved in 1953 by Pancheri of Bromsgrove. The organ case and the ceilings above it and the chancel are splendidly decorated; these date from the restoration by G.E. Street in 1861. There are several interesting memorials, mostly to members of the Vernon family, who built and lived at nearby Hanbury Hall. (now owned by the National Trust).

Outside, in the extensive churchyard, there are some old tombstones. One shows a youth lying on a railway line, together with a wagon and horse. The date is 1847, which is later than the building of the nearest railway line; the cause of death is not specified. A toposcope was erected in the churchyard in 2000 for the benefit of those admiring the wonderful view.

More about the Vernons of Hanbury Hall, and the church memorials

Vernon memorial Hanbury Church, 1721

One of the many memorials to members of the Vernon family to be found in the church.

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