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St Mary, White Waltham, Berkshire

(51°29′27″N, 0°46′11″W)
White Waltham
SU 855 776
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Berkshire
now Windsor and Maidenhead
medieval Salisbury
now Oxford
  • Ron Baxter
18 August 1991, 8 November 2013

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White Waltham is a village 3 miles SW of Maidenhead in wooded farmland. Waltham Place and its grounds lie on the eastern edge of the village, and Shottesbrooke Park on the west, giving the area a lfeeling of parkland. The church is in the centre of the village and has an aisled nave, S transept and chancel, all 13thc. or later. In 1868-69 the majority of the church, except the chancel, was rebuilt by G. E. Street, and a W tower added, and in 1889 a N transept was built. Inside, the E and S tower arches are reused structures of c.1100, the E arch plain and the S carved. The S doorway includes two reused 12thc. capitals.


In 940 King Edmund granted 30 hides at Wealdham to the thegn Aelfsige, covering the settlements of White Waltham, Waltham St Lawrence and Shottesbrooke. By 1007 the three settlements had become separate manors, and by 1060 White Waltham had itself been divided into two estates. The larger was granted by Edward the Confessor to Chertsey Abbey for the household supplies of the monks, an arrangement confirmed by DS. This estate included a small church. The other was among the endowments made by Earl Harold to Waltham Abbey, and the abbey continued to lease it from the Bishop of Durham to whom William gave it after 1066. These two abbeys continued to hold the lands until the Dissolution. The small church (aecclesiola) mentioned in the Domesday Survey was probably a wooden chapel whose incumbent was a canon of Chertsey, and White Waltham is unlikely to have adopted a parish church status before c.1100. The two arches inside the church and the reused S doorway capitals may thus be relics of the first stone church on the site.


Exterior Features


Interior Features


Tower/Transept arches

VCH, Pevsner and Tyack all give a 12thc date for the Norman work kept by Street in his 1868-69 restoration. The present author suggests an early 12thc date for the arch.


L. Over, The Churches of Wealdham, White Waltham, 1989.

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Berkshire. Harmondsworth, 1966, 265.

G. Tyack, S. Bradley and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Berkshire. New Haven and London 2010, 614.

Victoria County History: Berkshire III (1923), 171-77.