St Mary's Church has strong connections with the once wealthy Oglander family who owned nearby Nunwell House and its estate from the eleventh century, when they came to England as Norman invaders, until recent times. One of the two chapels within the church is a memorial to the family and contains a number of tombs and coats of arms displayed on wall plaques and in stained glass windows.
You enter the church in a most unusual way - through an archway cut into the base of the sturdy square tower. This tower is one of only four church towers in England which are open on three sides. The bell chamber in the tower is accessed by an external wooden staircase..
Inside the church it was almost dark at 3 pm on a bitterly cold day in late March, except for the chancel which was illuminated. This focused attention on the most important place - the altar and the three east windows which I found very effective. There are many beautiful stained glass windows in this church, some illustrating Biblical stories.
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