Church of St Mary the Virgin


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
Church of St Mary the Virgin, Church Lane, Shinfield


Ordnance survey map of Church of St Mary the Virgin
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Statutory Address:
Church of St Mary the Virgin, Church Lane, Shinfield

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Wokingham (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SU 72973 68198


SU 76 NW 8/9

SHINFIELD CHURCH LANE (north east side) Church of St Mary the Virgin


G.V. I

Parish Church. Late C12, rebuilt C14, altered and extended C15, tower added C17. The whole church restored in 1857 by Sir Gilbert Scott. Flint, Bath stone and ferricrete, part roughcast; brick west tower, tiled gabled roof. Four bay nave, chancel, south chapel built 1596, south aisle with four bay arcade rebuilt 1857, and west tower rebuilt C1630. Gabled porch entry on north side added C19 over a late C12 doorway with two semi-circular hollow chamfered orders; the jambs of the outer are shafted, and those of the inner order moulded with a small roll. Buttressed walls to nave, angle buttresses of two offsets at north and south east angles of the chancel. The windows belong to different periods; there are two early C14 windows surviving on the north wall of the chancel, the eastern one of two acutely pointed cinquefoiled lights with a quatrefoiled spandrel and a two-centred head. The western window is also of two cinquefoiled lights with flamboyant tracery within a similar head. On the south wall of the chancel is a C19 window copied from the corresponding wall in the north wall. The east window of the C16 south chapel is of three pointed lights, uncusped, their mullions being carried up into a two-centred containing head; on the north side of this is a C19 doorway with a four-centred head: The south window is square headed and of three plain transomed lights, and high up in the gable of the east wall is a stone panel, inscribed 1596 E M. The walls of the chapel are roughcast. The nave has three north windows; the easternmost similar to the easternmost in the north wall of the chancel, the other three are late C15 of three cinquefoiled lights within square heads; the late C12 doorway is between these. On the south wall of the south aisle are three windows, the easternmost similar to the corresponding window in the north wall of the nave but much restored. The other two windows are late C15, each of three cinquefoiled lights with vertical tracery within a square head.

The west tower is brick and of three stages with brick and stone plinth, decorative raised brick strings at each stage, embattled parapet and angled octagonal buttresses up to third stage. The west doorway has a semi-circular head with a projecting brick key, and is surmounted by a moulded brick entablature, supported by header corbels of brick. Above the doorway is a window of five-lights within a square head, the string course is broken upwards over this window to form a label The ringing chamber is lighted on the north and south by square headed windows of two plain lights with two-centred heads, and flat brick mullions. The belfry is lighted on all four faces by similar two-light windows; the walls of this stage are slightly recessed in the centre of each face.

Interior: The nave roof is late C14 and is supported by four trusses with large timbers of plain crownposts braced twice to the collar purlins, the collars and heavily cambered tie beams are supported by wall posts and short curved braces resting on stone corbels. The crown posts are strutted at their feet on the tie beams by unusually large curved braces. The C17 roof to the aisle is a double butt purlin roof complete with large windbraces at both levels, supported by rough queen post trusses. There is a scissor brace truss the second form the east which is probably early C15. The C16 roof of the south chapel has a pentagonal wooden ceiling, with moulded ribs, and carved bosses at their intersections. A large Jacobean chest with three locks is preserved in the south aisle.

Monuments: On the west wall of the nave is a Purbeck marble tablet, sculptured with a shield of 12 quarters, an inscription on a scroll beneath and below this is a broken sword with the date 1576 on the hilt. On the west wall of the south aisle is an elaborate mural marble monument to Edward Martin, died 1604 and his wife Mary who died 1607. He was probably the builder of the south chapel, the initials corresponding with those on the tablet, described earlier, on the east gable. The monument is framed by Corinthian columns supporting an entablature, surmounted by a shield. The figures are of alabaster and are kneeling in prayer, that of Edward Martin is missing, those of his wife and daughter remain. On the north wall of the nave is a marble tablet sculptured with a shield to Henry Beke, died 1580. Above the arms is a crested helm, below are two smaller shields with an inscription below these. On the south wall of the south aisle is a very elaborate marble and alabaster monument to Henry Beke. On a projecting base are the kneeling figures of himself, his wife and daughter. Two female figures support an entablature, surmounted in the centre by a pedimented structure on which is a sculptured shield of his arms with a crested helm. The entablature is broken forward over the heads of the supporting figures, and crowned by small obelisks standing on pedestals. A black marble panel on the base contains a description with the date Ano Dni : 1627.

Listing NGR: SU7297868198


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Ditchfield, P H, Page, W, The Victoria History of the County of Berkshire, (1906), 264
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: Berkshire, (1966), 215
British Geological Survey, Strategic Stone Study, accessed 04/02/2020 from


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 04 Aug 1999
Reference: IOE01/01150/21
Rights: Copyright IoE Brian Steptoe. Source Historic England Archive
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