Chiltern Society PhotoGroup

The Church of St Mary the Virgin occupies the site of a small Saxon church built around 700AD. It was rebuilt and in 1086 rededicated as a Benedictine Priory by Geoffrey de Mandeville, the Norman lord of the manor. In the 14th century the nave of the priory church was double its present length of 32 metres. Following the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1536 the Priory estate passed to John Lovelace in 1545.

Material from the demolished part of the Priory Church was used for the first Ladye Place Mansion (situated in the gardens to the east of the church). At this time the east end of the church was filled in and reconstructed to the present shape. Major alterations began in 1852 when a large porch over the southwest door was removed. The east end of the church was rebuilt with new windows. The Priory Room extension built in 1987 is on the right of the picture.
Author: J Harrison