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St Mary, Wargrave, Berkshire

(51°30′0″N, 0°52′24″W)
SU 783 785
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Berkshire
now Wokingham
medieval Salisbury
now Oxford
medieval St Mary
now St Mary
  • Ron Baxter
20 April 1997, 08 November 2013

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Wargrave is a large village in the Thames valley near the confluence with the Loddon, midway between Reading and Maidenhead. The medieval church was burnt down in 1914 and rebuilt by W. Fellowes Prynne, incorporating some of the original fabric, including the 1635 brick W tower and the 12thc N doorway (reset towards the W end of the N nave wall). The church has a nave with a S aisle and the remains of a blocked 12thc. arcade in the N wall. There is also a N transept and a square chancel. There is a disused plain font, probably 12thc., in the churchyard.


Wargrave was held by the king in demesne in 1086, and before the Conquest it had been held by Queen Edith. King Stephen was said to have granted it to his brother, Henry of Blois, but it was in King Henry II's hands throughout his reign. King Richard I sold it to Bishop Godfrey of Winchester to raise funds for the crusades, but reclaimed it on his return, when he disseized him of his lands. It was reclaimed by the see on payment of a fine to King John in 1199 and remained in the hands of the Bishops of Winchester until the 16thc.

The church was given by Henry I to his new foundation of Reading abbey, and it remained a possession of the abbey until the Dissolution.


Exterior Features


Interior Features






The cusping on the label of the N doorway is a motif copied from nearby Reading Abbey (where it is used on the beakhead voussoirs of the cloister arcade, now in Reading Museum). It also occurs in the NW of the county at Stanford-in-the-Vale, in combination with a heavy angle roll and scallop capitals.


Historic England Listed Building 41363

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Berkshire. Harmondsworth, 1966, 257.

G. Tyack, S. Bradley and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Berkshire. New Haven and London 2010, 599-600.

Victoria County History: Berkshire III (1923), 195.