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 Hurley Church -  Nash Ford Publishing Hurley
St. Mary's Church

Hurley Priory was founded as a memorial to the first wife of the great Norman lord, Geoffrey De Mandeville, in the mid-11th century. It was dedicated by St. Osmund himself. Geoffrey's second wife was also later buried there. A previous building was largely destroyed by the Danes, although there may be some remains incorporated into the eastern part of the present building. This supposedly dated back to the time of St. Birinus. Legend says King Edward the Confessor's sister, Princess Edith was buried there. The long narrow aisless parish church is the nave of the old Norman priory, though its large 14th century tower, chancel and flanking aisles were demolished at the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Fittings include a nice late 14th century font which originally had no inner bowl and was for the complete submersion of infants; and a colourful early 17th century monument to the Lovelaces of Ladye Place with unusual forward facing figures of father and son. However, the building has lost its sixteen hatchments which existed a hundred and eighty years ago. One of these was to one of the fifteen commissioners of the Colnbrook Turnpike Trust who famously died under mysterious circumstances after dining at the Castle Inn in Slough in 1773. 13th and 14th century monastic buildings survive near the church and there is a fine tithe barn and dovecote. The Old Bell Inn was the priory guesthouse. The whole village is completely cut-off from the outside world, but is highly popular with riverside trippers in Summer.

Architecture: Almost completely Norman with some12th, early 14th century and Victorian additions.

Monuments: John Lovelace 1558 Reredos; Richard Lovelace 1602 Kneeling figures.


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