The Anglican Church of St Mary the Virgin lies on the western side of Watlass Moor Lane, at the
junction with the road to Thirn, to the south-west of Thornton Watlass village. The remains of
two Saxon cross-heads have been found in the village, showing that services were held here before
the Norman Conquest, probably with a cross erected in the open air. The original nave and chancel
of the Norman stone church were built in the eleventh century.|
The sturdy fortified tower was built in early fourteenth century. It is the sole remaining feature of the original church, and now contains the clock erected in 1896. The bells dating from 1694, 1712 and 1825 are no longer swung but the clappers are activated for services. The nave and chancel were entirely rebuilt in the perpendicular style in 1868. The tower contains some living accommodation (including toilet) and was probably used as a place of safety in times of strife. [The History Files]
St. Mary's Church is located at OS Grid Ref. SE2324685299
If you have an interest in Church Architecture, please see Phil Draper's "Church Crawler" pages.