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St Mary the Virgin Church, Fairford, Gloucestershire

Church interior by Barbara Ballard The church of St Mary the Virgin dates from the late 15th century and was financed by a wealthy wool merchant, John Tame. His tomb is found between the chancel and the Lady Chapel. His sonís memorial is in the Lady Chapel.

Church interior by Barbara Ballard Other churches stood on the same site from the 11th century. Remains of a 13th century one are found in the foundations at the north-east corner of the present church and also the base of the tower. At the four corners of the exterior of the tower are four grotesque stone figures representing the four guardians.

Misericord by Barbara Ballard A set of misericord seats are in the chancel and depict various subjects from angels to dogs to people. The carvings are mostly secular. There are traces of wall paintings in the tower. There is a ring of eight bells. Sixty-nine angels are on the roof. There are two chapels: the Lady Chapel and the Corpus Christi Chapel.

Church window by Barbara Ballard Church window by Barbara Ballard The 28 stained glass windows are the churchís special treasure. They are the only complete set of late medieval glass in England. The first nine tell the story and background of the life of Christ. The nave windows show the 12 apostles and four evangelists. At the west end are the judgement windows. The clerestory windows show the martyrs and confessors and angels.

Visitor Information

Fairford is located on the A417 east of Cirencester, Gloucestershire

Photos and text © by Barbara Ballard

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