MARY THE VIRGIN
The old church of St. Mary the Virgin is located in Old Linslade,
where the original village of Linslade was located. Now the church
stands fairly isolated with just a few houses nearby, but, in
the late 13th century it was a market town with an
annual fair. Many pilgrims were attracted to Linslade, because of
a Holy Well, situated reportedly just a few hundred yards to the north
of the church. The well's chalybeate waters were renowned for their
miraculous healing powers. However, in
1299, the Bishop
pilgrimages to the well, threatening anybody defying the ban with excommunication.
Present day Linslade grew up in the area around the railway
and the canal, immediately adjacent to Leighton
Buzzard, with many new streets of houses being built for railway
History & Description
The church consists of a chancel, nave, tower and a south
porch. The original 12th century church on the site, consisted
of just a chancel and nave. In the 15th century the chancel was rebuilt
reusing some of the old material, and at this time the west
tower and porch were added. Looking at a plan of the chancel it can be
seen that it inclines to the northward of the nave. A restoration of
the church took place in 1877 by J. T.
Lawrence and then
again in 1897 by Henry Finch of 'The Gables',
The walls are of a reddish sandstone rubble. The roof of the
chancel being tiled and the nave covered with lead.
Chancel: The features
of the chancel are all of the 15th century. The east
three cinquefoiled lights in a four-centered
There are windows in the north and south walls which are both of two
cinquefoiled lights in a four-centred head. The internal sill of the
is lowered, so as to form a sedile. Additionally, at the west end of
the south wall is a two-light transomed low-side window.
There is a piscina with a four centered head, and to the east
of that is a small rectangular recess. There is a further recess to the
south of the chancel arch, in the west wall. This recess has a semi-circular
head and also contains a seat. The 12th century chancel
arch is semicircular,
and of a single square order.
The roof of the chancel is of 16th century date, with large
moulded and cambered tie-beams, and moulded principal rafters, purlins
and wall-plates (embattled).
Nave: The west wall
of the nave, to the north of the chancel arch, is the head of a crudely
moulded recess or niche with sunk
of 15th century date. The north wall contains two modern windows of two
lights, however the western window retains a 14th
century chamfered, rear arch and inner jambs. Between these two windows
is a blocked doorway. This doorway, of the mid-14th century, is visible
from the outside where there is an arch of two moulded orders, the
outer being continuous and the inner terminating in chamfered jambs.
Above the doors are reset the remains of an earlier, 13th century,
In the south wall are two windows; the eastern window is of
three cinquefoiled lights and is modern externally, but has 15th century
rear arch and internal jambs. The western window is similar but with
two lights. Between these windows is the 15th century south doorway
with continuously moulded jambs and two-centred head. There is an external
Tower: The west
tower is of 15th century construction. It consists of three stages, with
an embattled parapet. There are diagonal butresses on the western angle
and a semi-octagonal stair turret, in the north-east angle, which is
carried above the roof of the tower. The tower
arch is mid 15th century,
and is of two chamfered orders; the outer being continuous and the
inner resting on semi-octagonal pilasters with moulded capitals and
bases. The west window, also of mid 15th century date, is of three
cinquefoiled lights with tracery under a flat drop arch (all restored).
The four windows of the bell chamber all have two lights with tracery.
South Porch: Much
restored 15th century entrance arch of two continuous orders, the inner
moulded and two centered and the outer hollow chamfered and rectangular,
with sunk quatrefoils in the spandrels. In the porch is a stoup of
15th/16th century date.
Bells: The five bells
in the tower were removed in 1869, for use in the newly constructed
St. Barnabas Church, Linslade. A single light bell was installed to
replace those removed, for use at funeral services.
Font: The font consists
of a semicircular bowl, circa 1210, around which is a carved band containing
images of four grotesque beasts having richly foliated tails and with
bunches of foliage between them. This is supported by a short octagonal
stem and moulded octagonal base on a circular plinth.
Vicars and Curates
- click here to see list and details
Monuments & Memorials
in the Church
- click here
to see details
& Picture Gallery for St Mary the Virgin
- click here
to view the photos
History & Description
With the rapid expansion of the new Linslade in the early
19th century, it was felt that there was a need for a new parish church
located at a more convenient spot than St. Mary's in Old Linslade.
In June 1840, a handbill was published by the incumbent for Linslade,
the Reverend B. Perkins, to ask for donations for the construction of
the new church. Unfortunately the result of this appeal only raised £240,
and the plans were held in abeyance. In 1847 the newly appointed incumbent,
Reverend Peter Thomas Ouvry, M.A., launched a second and more successful
campaign for raising money for a new church. A site was given by Edward
Lawford, Esq., for the builing of the Church, Vicarage, and School (now
the church hall). The foundation stone was laid on the 31st May 1848,
and the church was consecrated by the Bishop of Oxford on the 15th June
The organ was installed in 1861, and the south aisle and the tower were
added in 1868. The five bells from St. Mary's (see above) were hung in
the tower in 1869, together with one new bell, and then a further two
new bells were added to the complement in 1904.
The building is in the Early Decorated style, the walls being
of native stone with Bath stone dressings. there is a spacious nave and
a chancel. In the west end wall is a series of Early English arcading
with stone shafts, beween which are four lights forming the west window.
There are four two-light windows in the north and south walls of the
nave with geometrical headings. The hammer-beams of the roof of the nave
rest on plain corbels of stone; but the corbels of the chancel roof are
sculptured. The chancel is lighted by four single windows in the side
walls and a four-light window with geometrical tracery in the east end.
There is stained glass in most of the windows.
The font is of Bath stone, octagonal, and supported by a pillar
carved with arcading.
Photo & Picture
Gallery for St Barnabas - click
here to view the photos