TQ7515 : St Mary the Virgin Church, Battle

taken 7 years ago, near to Battle, East Sussex, Great Britain

St Mary the Virgin Church, Battle
St Mary the Virgin Church, Battle
Grade I listed
St Mary the Virgin church, Battle
When King William I founded Battle Abbey on the site of the Battle of 1066, it enjoyed the status of a Royal Peculiar. In 1115, Abbot Ralph founded the church of Saint Virgin Mary. The priest was given the status of Dean and the parish enjoyed Peculiar status, outside the authority of the Bishops of Chichester. This privilege survived until 1848.

The original church was described as "a Chapel in honour of the blessed mother of God, in which a priest might, under the direction of the Abbot or the brethren, serve the parishioners"
This was probably a very small building consisting of a plain nave and a little chancel some 17 feet in length.
In the 12th century the monks began to enlarge the church. The tower was built and narrowly lean-to extensions to the north and south sides formed aisles.
The Romanesque nave was extended by two bays to make five. The western Bay was built last.
The font is early 12th century with a frieze of Norman arches, the cover is mediaeval.

The tower was built around 1440. There are eight bells.
The north aisle was added in the mid-15th century, and there is a remnant of early stained-glass which may have been the Archbishop of Canterbury, Henry Chichele, from the 15th C. The chancel was rebuilt around 1230 and extended some 30 feet to the east. As with many other churches the chancel is not aligned straight with the nave, this is often thought to represent Christ's head on the cross.

At the south east end of the church there is a Chapel to Saint Catherine which was the original site of the Norman tower, an outline of a Norman arch can still be seen.
The nave walls have mediaeval paintings which were restored in the 1970s. The paintings are of high quality and date from the end of the 13th or the early 14th century.

To the north of the chancel is a Lady Chapel which was built in the mid-14th century. The east window was installed in 1900 by Burlison & Grylls and is based on the words of the Te Deum. There is also the chest tomb of Sir Anthony Brown and wife who was granted the Abbey and its estates in 1539 after the dissolution of the monasteries. The tomb was probably made in London and was transported by cart to Battle.

There are three brasses in the church, one in the Lady Chapel is of Sir John Low in armour from 1426. In the sanctuary there are two brasses, one to Dean Clare of 1450, and one to Dean Withines from 1615.
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TQ7515, 274 images   (more nearby )
Photographer
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Date Taken
Saturday, 27 August, 2011   (more nearby)
Submitted
Saturday, 27 August, 2011
Geographical Context
Religious sites 
Church (from Tags)
St Mary the Virgin 
Place (from Tags)
Battle 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TQ 7502 1579 [10m precision]
WGS84: 50:54.9021N 0:29.3048E
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TQ 7500 1577
View Direction
Northeast (about 45 degrees)
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