This information is taken from the statutory List as it was in 2001 and may not be up to date.
SP61NW AMBROSDEN MERTON ROAD (North side)
11/6 Church of St. Mary the Virgin 07/12/66 (Formerly listed as Church of St. Mary Virgin)
Church. Late C12, C14 and C15; chancel probably for Ashridge colleges; restored 1847 and in 1867 by C.N. Beazley. Limestone rubble with ashlar dressings; copper roofs. Chancel, south sacristy, nave, south aisle, south porch and west tower.
3-bay C15 chancel with plinth parapet, and stepped buttresses, has 2-light arched side windows, all with similar Perpendicular tracery; and a 3-light traceried east window; to south is a priest's door and a contemporary sacristy with a similar moulded parapet. C14 south aisle has 4 buttresses containing image niches, 2 of which may be earlier work; three 2-light side windows and the east window have C15 tracery, probably inserted into C14 windows; C14 lancet near the porch retains its original tracery but has been mutilated. Large porch has a 2-light traceried C15 window to east but retains a C14 trefoil window to west and a C14 entrance. Porch and aisle have a restored C14 pierced parapet of trefoils, that on the aisle rising from a corbel table of grotesque faces. C14 south doorway has continuous mouldings, and over it is a cinquefoiled image niche surrounded by ballflower ornament. North side of nave, probably mostly rebuilt C15, has 3 tall traceried 2-light windows and C15 stepped buttresses, but retains traces of an earlier archway at the east end and has a C12 doorway with a large roll moulding rising from detached shafts with cushion capitals.
Projecting rood stair forms a turret. Massive 3-stage tower has large lancets to west and south (the latter above a Tudor-arched doorway), a small lancet in the middle stage, and has 2-light bell-chamber openings with central shafts and semi-circular outer arches; north-west angle has shallow ashlar buttresses; south-west angle has large C15 buttresses; crenellated parapet. The stonework is of exceptionally-small rubble, and the upper stage has pargetted decoration: on the east, a lion and a restored dragon dated 1587, and on the west a patterned fragment. Interior: chancel has dropped cills to all side windows, some forming sedilia, and has a moulded column piscina; re-used shafts flanking altar have C13 stiff-leaf capitals; panelled roof with moulded purlins and cambered tiebeams is probably original. Plain C15 chancel arch and similar tower arch.
4-bay C14 south arcade has octagonal pier (one renewed) with moulded bases and capitals; large squint to east. Nave roof is C19 but aisle roof may contain some old timbers. Organ blocks an arched doorway to the rood stair. Interior of tower has very wide splays to the lancets on south and west. Fittings include: C15 octagonal pedestal font, panelled with quatrefoils, with a panelled conical counterweighted cover of 1687; C17 bench pews; parish chest dated 1785.
Monuments include an early C18 marble wall tablet to William Allen, with Corinthian pilasters and a triangular pediment, several C18 and C19 wall tablets below the tower and a group of C17 and C18 ledgers in the sanctuary. Stained glass in east window c.1900.
(V.C.H.: Oxfordshire, Vol.V, pp. 26-8; Buildings of England: 0xfordshire, p.422).
Listing NGR: SP6030019409