Discover rich history of St Mary’s in Thame at open evening

St Mary's Church, Thame
St Mary's Church, Thame

Visitors are welcome to an open evening being hosted by The Friends of St Mary’s church, Thame.

There is a wealth of history to discover at the 13th century church, which will be open on Friday, June 15, from 6.30pm until 8.30pm.

There will be trips up to the bell tower, bellringing demonstrations, talks, an organ demonstration and a treasure hunt highlighting various aspects of the building’s history.

The evening is free and refreshments will be served. A retiring collection will be held towards the upkeep of the church.

Among features of interest are the corbels supporting the nave roof, each individually carved, a beautifully carved oak screen dating from around 1320, a fragment of a medieval wall painting and early 16th century choir stalls, with linenfold panelling and poppy-heads. They were brought to St Mary’s from Thame Abbey at the Dissolution.

In the centre of the chancel is a fine monument to Lord Williams (d.1559) and his wife Elizabeth. The tomb-chest is made of black and white marble in a Flemish style.

The chancel is almost unchanged since the 14th century and contains several fascinating memorials and wonderful woodwork.

The font bowl is original and dates to at least the early 14th century, but the base is thought to be another three centuries older still, suggesting it belonged to a Saxon church on the site.