The Parish Church of St. Mary,
Essentially, the chancel keeps its 14th century shape and materials. The walls are of gritstone, patched with red sandstone. The latter crumbles easily, and where the external east and west wall has been patched with such stone it needed refacing with reconstituted stone in 1971.
On the south side are two 14 century windows with trefoil lights, and at the east end of the north wall a similar window. But at the west end of this wall is an odd window with a flat arch improvised from foliated fragments.
Over the Priest’s door on the south exterior of the Chancel is a red sandstone block with the inscription;
“I A F 1653”
The initials, presumably of John and Anne Fleetwood, together with the year in which they caused the Chancel to be repaired, in accordance with one of the conditions agreed to when the family leased the Penwortham property from Evesham Abbey in 1539. With the Fleetwoods as lay rectors, responsible for the repair of the chancel, largely governing the church and occupying relatively opulent box pews inside the chancel, it came about that the small door in the Chancel, over which John Fleetwood had put his initial, came to be called the Squire’s Door instead of the more correct designation “Priest’s Door”. The door is now blocked, having remained unused for about a century, although the old wooden door has been kept intact in the boiler room and store
The Chancel rood is ancient of framed spars; it was covered with blue slates in 1855-
By 1884 the two canopied balustraded box pews had been removed from the west end of the chancel and were replaced by the back rows of the present choir stalls. The front rows were fitted in 1946 to accommodate a robed choir; previously the choir had occupied pews near the organ at the back of church.
We look at each of the five windows in the Chancel in turn, beginning with the strange window near the organ console, and then going clockwise around the Chancel.
|St. Mary's Before Re-ordering|
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