804/34/235 HIGH STREET
Church of St Mary, Harmondsworth
Parish church. C12 south arcade and doorway, C13 north arcade. Chancel rebuilt 1396-98, attributed (by John Harvey) to the meason William Wynford. North chancel aisle and brick tower added c.1500. C19 south porch; modern vestry to north-west.
MATERIALS: Flint, conglomerate, rubble walls with stone dressings; upper stages of tower of brick, with rendered quoins, moulded courses, battlements and angle pedestals with cupola carried on cast-iron columns; tiled roofs.
PLAN: nave and chancel, north aisle, southwest tower, south porch, short south aisle.
EXTERIOR: buttressed brick tower with battlemented parapet and circular cupola with weathervane, caried on six cast iron columns; clock to south face. South door within timber porch: C12, limestone, round arch of three orders. Outer voussoirs enriched with a double chevron moulding; central order of beak heads, their beaks projecting over a roll-moulding; inner order of incised geometrical roundels. Enriched shafts and scalloped capitals below central order flanking door. This door is believed to have been reset in its present location when the church was remodelled in the later Middle Ages. This is the chief of the many fine features of this church. South wall of chancel includes a medieval scratch-dial. Pointed arched priest's door. Twin-gabled east end.
INTERIOR: Nave: Four bay C15 king-post roof, the uprights renewed C19, with tie beams; early C16 pewes with moulded rails and Gothic buttresses, late C19 plate tracery to west window of four lancets and three round openings, containing clear glass. South aisle: divided by two circular Norman piers with scalloped capitals, arcade of three pointed arches. Two 2-light C15 windows on south wall, three-light east window with late C19 glass signed by O'Connor. Open pitched timber roof with tie beams, largely original. North aisle and chapel: western two and a half bays of arcade of pointed arches carried on circular shafts with square, shallow capitals, eastern three and a half bays to north aisle and north chapel carried on octagonal shafts bearing four-centred arched arcade. The abrupt transition between the two sections marks the divide between the C13 and c.1500 phases. North aisle roof with clasped purlins, probably medieval. Small hammerbeam roof with tie-beams, curved braces and moulded pendant bosses to c.1500 chapel.
FITTINGS: Ledger slab in nave to Richard Coombes (d.1672). C18 and C19 memorials to the Stirling family. The large organ 1879 by H Jones. Chancel: three-bay sedilia and piscina, both c.1500. East window of three lights containing stained glass (signed by O'Connor) depicting the crucifixion, Christ walking on the water and Christ calming the waters, installed in memory of Walter de Burgh RN (d.1861). Altar, late C19 of oak, Gothic with painted depiction of the Annunciation on central panels. Stone reredos with sacred monogram in a mandorla, set within a pointed arch below central gable. Pair of two light windows on south side, easternmost (signed O'Connor) depicts Sacrifice of Isaac and Christ and the Centurion; erected in memory of Matthew Stent (d.1871). Western window (signed H Hughes, 1879) depicts the women at the empty tomb; erected in memory of Thomas Whipham (d.1860). Monuments include a matching pair of veined marble pedimented tablets to Anna and Richard Banckes (d.1734 and 1750), with a small tablet between them inscribed 'What death divided Love hath conjoined'. Baptistery: in base of tower. Contains font of c.1200 of Purbeck marble: octagonal bowl on plinth ringed by eight small circular shafts. South and west windows each of two lights contain stained glass signed by E R Suffling. Organ by Henry Speechy & Son, Camden Organ Factory. Tower: Belfry of six bells, originally by Bryan Eldridge of Chertsey, 1658, with subsequent recastings. Timber roof structure over belfry bears plaque referring to works in 1839.
HISTORY: the church belonged to the Abbey of Holy Trinity, Rouen at the end of the 11th century and passed to William of Wickham's See of Winchester in 1391, leading to a new campaign of works. A highly characterful Middlesex medieval parish church, the cumulative impact of which is highly impressive. It relatively lightly restored character adds further to its interest. The church forms a powerful group with the adjacent tithe barn (q.v) and churchyard, which contains brick chest tombs and headstones (q.v.)