St Mary, Langley Marish, Slough, Buckinghamshire

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Feature Sets (2)


Langley Marish, or Langley, is a large village to the immediate E of Slough and contiguous with it. It was part of Buckinghamshire until 1974, when it was transferred as part of Slough to Berkshire, and in 1998 when Berkshire ceased to exist as a unit of local government, Slough became a Unitary Authority. The church has retained its extensive graveyard; unusual in its urban setting. It consists of a chancel with a N chapel, a nave with a N aisle open to the chapel, the raised 17thc Kederminster chapel for the Harvey family on the S side of the nave, with a library on the W side of it, occupying the former S porch, a brick NW tower of 1609 (i.e. at the W end of the N aisle) and a modern brick block on the N side, acting as a porch to the N doorway and a lavatory block. Construction of the parts not built of brick is of flint and stone. The nave is 12thc (see the herringbone flintwork of the W end), and the chancel and the N chapel are 14thc. The aisle was added in the 12thc, and the W bay of the 4-bay arcade is still Romanesque. The other 3 bays were replaced in 1630 by a spectacular wooden trabeated colonnade of 3 bays, with paired slender shafts carrying Doric capitals. Features described here are the W bay of the nave arcade and a chip-carved stone now set in the N wall of the nave.


Langley Marish is not mentioned specifically in the Domesday Survey, but must have been included in the 20-hide manor of Wyrardisbury (Wraysbury), held by Robert Gernon in 1086 and by King Edward's thegn Edmund in 1066. When Gernon died without an heir, his lands were given by Henry I to William de Muntfichet of Stansted Mountfitchet (Essex). It remained in this family until the death of Richard in 1268. His heirs were the descendants of his three sisters, Margery, Aveline and Philippa, and the manor of Wyrardisbury with Langley Marish passed to the heirs of Aveline, who had married William de Fortz. Their granddaughter Aveline was given in marriage by the King Henry III to his second son Edmund Earl of Lancaster in 1269. The manor was leased in 1282 to Christine de Marisco, hence the suffix Marrish appled to the name.

The church of Langley Marrish was annexed to Wyrardisbury as a chapelry in the 1st half of the 12thc, and remained in this position until 1856 when it became a benefice in its own right.


Interior Features



N arcade

Of 4 bays, the 3 eastern bays rebuilt in 1630. The 12thc W bay has a 2-order pointed arch, the inner order tapered back from the arch apex to the W impost, reducing it to a single order at that point, and the outer order with a slight chamfer. The arch has a chamfered label. The E pier was apparently octagonal originally, and the semi-octagonal respond that remains carries a chamfered block capital with a roll necking and a narrow hollow chamfered impost with a groove incised at the bottom of the face. The W respond carries a square, slightly concave capital and a similar impost. Of these the imposts may be original but the capitals cannot be trusted.

Interior Decoration


Chip-carved relief

Set in the interior N wall of the nave at the E end, immediately W of the chancel arch, is a rectangular stone chip-carved with 2rows of 3 saltires in squares.

Height of block 0.185m
Width of block 0.24m


Pevsner (1960) called this 'one of the most rewarding churches of Buckinghamshire, a great surprise in the immediate neighbourhood of Slough'. The RCHME inventory dates the Norman nave before 1150, based on the masonry, which would suit the date of the chip-carved stone, and the arcade to c.1180.


  • Historic England Listed BuildingĀ 38727

  • N. Pevsner, Buildings of England: Buckinghamshire. London 1960, 181-82.

  • RCHME, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the County of Buckingham. Volume 1 (south). London 1912, 223-29.

  • Victoria County History: Buckinghamshire. III (1925), 294-301.

Interior to NE
Exterior from NW
Exterior from SE


Site Location
Langley Marish, Slough
National Grid Reference
TQ 005 795 
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Buckinghamshire
now: Slough
now: Oxford
medieval: Lincoln (Dorchester to 1085)
medieval: St Mary (pre-Reformation)
now: St Mary
Type of building/monument
Parish church, formerly chapelry  
Report authors
Ron Baxter 
Visit Date
15 March 2017