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The History of St Mary's

The first recorded Rector of Hitcham was called John the Clerk and he came to the parish in 1167.  The nave at Hitcham was built in the 12th century and there are four windows on the north and south sides of the nave which provided light for services.  At the east end of the nave are two two-light windows (one near the pulpit and one opposite) which were added in the 14th century.

A 14th century Norman arch divides the chancel from the nave.  The tower was built in the 16th century and contains six bells.  The pulpit and its sounding-board are from the 17th century, as were the oak box pews.  The pews were removed a hundred years ago and parts were used to panel the church porch.

The most valuable item in the church is the painted glass in the chancel windows.  It dates back to the reign of Edward III (1327-1377) whose son, the Black Prince, was lord of the manor of Hitcham.

In the churchyard there is a tomb with an icon let into the stonework at its foot.  This is the burial place of Prince Alexis Dolgorouki of Russia and his English wife, they lived in Nashdom, near Hitcham.

Alan Woodley has put together a fascinating history of Hitcham. Did you know that up until 1530 there were no pews or pulpit at St Mary’s - the congregation knelt on straw whilst the Lord of the Manor sat in the chancel? Can you imagine that!


Read more on the Historic Hitcham website:

St Marys window and altar_edited.jpg
St MArys Window.jpg

Family Research

Are you looking for the resting place of a family member in our churchyard?


A member of our congregation has made a start in cataloguing the 

graves at St Mary’s Hitcham. There are now over 400 photographs of the graves.


If you would like to see more click here.

map with grid of St Mary's
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