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Bessingham Church Buildings

The Church is dedicated to St Mary the Virgin and can be dated back to the late 11th century, although some parts are thought to be Saxon because of the triangular bell openings.

The round tower is probably one of the oldest in the county. The round tower has several features from the Saxo-Norman over-lap period. The nave has aisles on both sides. Above the arches are curious carved stone faces as well as others on the outside of the building. The Decorative-period chancel has an elegant east window with reticulated tracery.

This Church was much altered by the Victorians who re-roofed it and changed a lot of the chancel. The Medieval chancel screen and turret-stair have gone but the blocked door to the latter survives on the south side. Originally there was a south chapel and a northern chamber to the chancel. The blocked entrance door to the latter and a piscina now on the outside wall can still be seen.

Uniquely the appearance of this church in the 16th century was recorded in a legal document.

The stained-glass windows by Charles Kempe and J Powell & Son are particularly noteworthy.

Points of Interest

Worthy of note during your visit are:

  • The Round Tower
  • The delightful stained-glass east window. How many angels can you count?
  • Commemorative stained glass windows on the South Side.
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