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A Brief History of St. Mary's Thorpe

The Reformation and Beyond

Home Page
Introduction
Early Days and Saxon Period
From the Normans to the Tudors
The Reformation and Beyond
The Nineteenth Century
The Twentieth Century and Today's Church
Notables and the Churchyard
About Us and How to Make Contact
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 County History.
 
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.