St. Mary's Church, Theydon Bois

Our History

The original church of St Mary the Virgin was situated on the road between Theydon Bois and Abridge and although no trace of the building is left there is a memorial inscribed with the names of some of the parishioners who were buried here. For a while it was served by travelling priests from St. Bartholomew the Great, Smithfield.

When Rev George Hambleton became incumbent in 1842 it was decided to build a new church in a more central position. Funds were raised, a site found and a new church was completed in 1844.
 

 

 

St Mary''s Church
Old Church painting small

Unfortunately, soon afterwards defects began to appear which became so serious that the decision was taken to demolish the building and rebuild. A new architect was engaged, Sidney Smirke, who designed the Reading Room at The British Museum, and the new church was completed in 1850.
 
It has a central aisle, choir and sanctuary, several stained glass windows, including one to Frances Mary Buss, founder of The North London Collegiate School for Girls. Her grave is on the north side of the church. The tower is topped by a copper clad spire and contains three bells which were brought from the old church, two mediaeval and one Victorian. There are several monuments also brought including hatchments which show the full armorial bearings of some local families and one of the King's arms dating from the reign of James 1.

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