|Established January 17 1881|
|St. Mary, Childrey, Oxon
Old North Berks branch of the ODG
St. Mary, Childrey ęKMC 30 Mar 2002
On a clear day standing just outside the West door you can see as far as the Cotswolds to the North. In Spring there are lambs gambolling in the field to the west.
Dedication: St. Mary, Childrey
Service Ringing: Sun by arrangement
Practice night: Wed 7.30pm
Availability and Restrictions:
The bell details in the table below are taken from a certificate, which hangs in the ringing chamber, of the restoration and augmentation of the ring to 8 in 2005.
The Bishop of Reading conducted a' Dedication of the Bells' service on Monday, 27th February 2006.
Two new trebles were cast, the old treble recast and the ring tuned by The Whitechapel Bell Foundry. Whites of Appleton rehung the bells with new fittings in the existing strengthened wrought iron frame (F. Webb 1907).
The inscriptions on the old six come from F. Sharpe The Church Bells of Berkshire. He visited the tower in 1939. The inscriptions on the 3 new bells cast in 2005 were transcribed by Kate and David Crennell on a visit to the belfry in March 2006.
We are grateful to Brian Winsley for the information about the clock and for showing us the tower.A ring of 8, tenor 12-0-4, tuned to Ab
THE FAMILY OF
PERCY AND ANNIE ROWLAND
|2||3-1-14||24||G||2005||Whitechapel||London||(blank - anonymous donor)|
|3||3-3-25||26||F||2005||Whitechapel||London||IN MEMORY OF
1904 - 1997
20 [M] 05
(and on the opposite side in the inscription band)
G. MEARS & CO. FOUNDERS, LONDON, 1865.
(and on the waist)
SAMUEL WHITTINGHAM, D.D., RECTOR.
|4||3-2-26||27¼||Eb||1770||Pack & Chapman||Whitechapel||[E11] PACK & CHAPMAN OF LONDON FECIT 1770 JOHN LAWRENCE & JOHN BUSH CH. WARDENS|
|5||4-3-4||30¼||Db||1907||Mears & Stainbank||Whitechapel||MEARS & STAINBANK, FOUNDERS, LONDON.
RECAST A.D. 1907.
|6||7-0-10||327/8||C||1639||Ellis Knight I||Reading||R • A • I • H • CHVRCHWARDENS X639|
|7||8-3-7||365/8||Bb||1639||Ellis Knight I||Reading||SANCTA ANNA ORA PRONOBIS|
|Tenor||12-0-4||40||Ab||1632||Ellis Knight I||Reading||W • B X • V CHVRCHWARDENS X632|
|Sanctus||1-0-0#||1806||James Wells||Aldbourne||JAMES WELLS ALDBOURN WILTS FECIT 1806 .·. .·. .·. .·.|
The parish of Childrey has a long history going back to Anglo-Saxon times. It was carved out of the adjoining parish of Sparsholt, which belonged to the Abbey of Abingdon. The name Childrey means Cillarithe or Cilla’s Brook. Childrey was created for Cilla, the sister of the first Abbot of Abingdon in 632.
Childrey has an important cruciform church on the northern edge of this attractive downland village with wide views from the churchyard. Like many Anglo-Saxon churches the first one at Childrey must have been wooden and no trace of it survives. The first record of a church in Childrey is 995 AD. Although originally Norman, much of the appearance of the present church is now 14th and 15th century.
St Mary's Childrey is a Grade One mediæval church and it is not possible to list and describe all its delights in this small space. It needs to be visited!
The lower part of the Nave is late 12th century, the rest being rebuilt in the 15th century. The present wooden ceiling is 19th century except for a panelled bay at the east end. The nave has blocked north and south doors, a Royal Coat of arms of George III and a 12th century font (shown below, left).
The Chancel is 13th century. Its stalls contain some mediæval wood. There are brasses in the chancel and near the altar. A rather touching memorial to members of the Old Berkshire Hunt killed in the First World War is by the door in the nave; the East Window was given in their memory.
The North Transept was built c. 1325 and was founded as a chantry in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary by Edmund de Cheirey in 1368. The north window has glass from the 14th century which has been restored at various times in its history. There is also a recently conserved effigy on the north wall.
The South Transept was built around 1325. It was made into a chantry in 1526, only a few years before the chantries were abolished at the Reformation, by William Fettiplace in honour of the Holy Trinity. He lived in the manor house (above right) and his memorial brasses for himself (d. 1525) and his wife, Elizabeth (d. 1516) are shown below right. Other memorials to members of the Fettiplace family can be found at Appleton and Swinbrook.
The organ at the west end of the nave is by Martin & Coate, Oxford c. 1900.
Porch and South Doorway. The doorway is late 12th century and has an arch with Norman decoration. The present porch roof was built in 1710.
The Tower dates from c.1450 and is of three stages. It was restored in 1741.
Information taken from: A History & Guide to the Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin, Childrey by the Revd. Alan Wadge M.A. dated March 2000.The Clocks
The tower clock
The wooden dial 'is on the diamond' and has Roman numerals.(see photo on left below)
The clock is unusual in having only one hand. The clock mechanism was made by George Nethercott of Wantage in 1763 although it incorporates older parts. He used a chain link to hang the pendulum to one side to avoid getting in the way of either the winding mechanism or the leading-off rod. This rod goes through a small window in the tower wall to drive the gilded hand outside.
His name is engraved on the setting dial along with those of the Churchwardens J.Lawrence and R.Hatten. This dial also has four ornamental tooth-like projections; each tooth carries one figure of the date - 1763. (See photo below on right)
The drive rod for the single hand can be seen projecting from the centre of the cogwheel.
The bars of the four-poster frame bear the mark of the Swedish firm 'Forge Ferna'. (see central photo below)
The clock was wound daily by hand by Mr Bert Rowland for many years, until the generosity of Mr Tom Maples and Mr John Putt enabled it to be mechanised in 1986 when it was refurbished and electrified. It then struck the hours and halves on the treble bell until July 2005 when the bells were taken out for restoration.
The Sun dials
There are two sun dials on the south-east corner of the south transept and several mass (or scratch) dials, two on the transept and one to the right of the South chancel door, and several more on the adjacent buttress.
Points of interest in church
Travel Details: OS Grid Ref: SU360878. In lane outside church.
Eating Places: Pub The Hatchet public House, High Street, Childrey
Local points of interest for non ringers:
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