The Reformation and Beyond
When Chertsey Abbey was dissolved at the time of the Reformation,
the lands at Thorpe were granted to the Bishop of Winchester. After a short time, the King realised that this grant was being
neglected, and took Thorpe back. The history of the patronage at Thorpe since then is best left to be read in the Victoria
During the Commonwealth period (1653 - 1660) Cromwell’s
Puritans destroyed much of the decoration and statuary in the Church, including a screen of the Holy Family in what is now
the Lady Chapel in the South Transept. The Chancel was used as a private house, and the Nave as a stable; the beams still
bear the marks of soot and burning from the domestic fires lit here during that time.
The carved Royal Coat-of-Arms over the south door to the chancel has been assigned
as the work of the eminent late seventeenth century carver, Grinling Gibbons. It was refreshed in 2005 using the
best gold-leaf and the artistic and craftsman skills of the incumbent.
There were nine church bells in the tower at one time, some dated from 1690.
These were melted down to form four new bells in 1958.