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Blessed Virgin Mary, St. John the Baptist and All Saints, Witham Friary

July 14, 2015

Blessed Virgin Mary, St. John the Baptist and All Saints, Witham Friary

DSCN0626A small church with a very long dedication! This is a most unusual church. It looks French and this is because it is all that remains of a Carthusian house here founded by St. Hugh.

It is normally locked but the notice board does give key holder details. As I was looking at this a man drove past, stopped and offered to get the key for me. It turns out that he was the churchwarden and was both helpful and knowledgeable. The church has some large buttresses on the outside. Inside, it is like walking into a monastery chapel, but that is what it is. It was the lay brothers chapel and was saved at the Dissolution as it became the parish church. It is breathtaking. There is a good guide at only £2 – a real bargain as it is a very good read, some other guides and a life of St. Hugh. Also some postcards, church mugs and home made chutneys. The visitors book showed 25 entries for this year so far. There were refreshments for visitors and some John’s gospels to take.

The windows on the south side of the church tells the story of St. Hugh. This is a well cared for church which is very much out of the ordinary and well worth taking the trouble to visit.


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One Comment
  1. lightgift permalink

    Thank you for your post about this church. I was looking for images of it to send to a friend. I visited St Mary’s many years ago, when I was liviing in Frome, and was very struck by the French style. Unfortunately, when I visited it was always locked. I did take photos myself, but I have lost them!
    I was particularly taken with the characteristic French apse, but it is very awkward to photograph as there are houses very close to it and trees on the road side. Thank you for the history of it.

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