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The Blessed Virgin Mary, Buckland St Mary

The foundation stone of the Church was laid in the summer of 1853, on the site of the old church, probably erected in new Tudor times. The old church was much smaller than the present one.

buckland-960x640The Rector at that time, Reverend John Edwin Lance, had the new church built and he paid for the majority of the works, the parish providing £500. He spared no expense in specifying the finest materials and chose the best available artisans.

The structure is built of flint-stone and Ham stone, with polished marble and decorated tiles adorning the interior. Much of the work was done by local craftsmen, the most notable of the sculptors being Mr Gahagen. It was he who carved the swallow which can be seen at the top of the column on the north side of the nave opposite the door and a little to the left. This was included to represent other birds that frequently flew into the interior during the construction, and still do so on occasions to this day.

The Chancel roof timbers are finely decorated, and the walls are carved and painted, in a style known as ‘diaper tiling’.

Other notable features inside the church are the statues of the 12 Apostles high in the nave and the magnificent hammer-beam roof. The name of each apostle is written below, and many other inscriptions are to be found throughout the church, painted on the stone in the form of Gothic script.