St Mary’s Church

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This is the small church you see in pictures of Sudeley Castle. There has been a church on the site since the end of the C11th. It was rebuilt in 1460 by Ralph Botelier who built Sudeley Castle. The lead was removed from the roof during the Civil War and the church was left open to the elements. When the Dents took over the castle in the C19th they restored the church.

It is a battlemented and pinnacled church with a small bell tower at the west end. The statues by the west door represent Henry VI who was on the throne when the church was built and Queen Victoria who was monarch when it was restored.

Inside it has a plain wood beam ceiling with carved bosses and supported on carved stone corbels. The furnishings and fitments are all C19th. The marble font has scenes from the Bible and symbols of the four evangelists. The stained glass windows have images of people associated with Sudeley Castle. Thomas Seymour, Katherine Parr and Henry VIII share a window. Round the choir are large choir stalls with carved misericords.

Between the chancel and small north chapel is the tomb of Katherine Parr, set under an ogee arch with painted shields round the base. Don’t be deceived. This is not her original tomb which was destroyed during the Civil War, but one designed for her by George Gilbert Scott.

In the side chapel is a modern tableau of Katherine Parr lying in state. This feels and looks tacky and is out of keeping with the rest of the church.

There is nothing special about the church apart from its connection with Katherine Parr. We visited this as part of a visit to Sudeley Castle and I have written a separate review for that.

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