St Mary’s, Puddletown

St Mary the Virgin, Puddletown, Dorset

A while back a reader (Ed) was kind enough to point me towards a few churches in my part of the world, that are of particular note. A couple of these I knew, but St Mary the Virgin, in Puddletown was not one of them. I set off with some (movie) FP4 and my Nikon F3 to explore.

One enters the church through the North Porch – directly opposite the South Porch, above which is the reasonably recently discovered Coat of Arms of James 1st. Painted over in the puritan period.

Remains of the Coat of Arms of James 1st

The opposite wall carries another painting, that of the Lords Prayer. The window to it’s right, has been restored to it’s original length having once had it’s sill raised to prevent a possibly bored congregation looking out of the window!

The Lords Prayer

Looking up the nave, the cancel was restored to it’s original length in a 1910 restoration, apparently the wood panelling dates from that same time, although it fits in well. The pulpit on the right has a sounding board to help project the sound!

The Nave, Chancel, and Pulpit
The Altar

There is a South Chapel known as the Athelhampton Chapel, and houses brasses dedicated to the Martyn family, and tombs.

The South (Athelhampton) Chapel
14th Century Tomb

Looking back up the nave, is perhaps the most impressive sight. The wooden balcony dating back to the 1634-1637 restoration. The crest on it’s front records the date. Before the organ was installed a small “orchestra” was housed there.

The ceiling and balcony

Up in the balcony one can get a closer look at the organ and also down the length of the church. It’s worth noting the box style pews, not so common these days!

The organ
Overview including box pews

Meanwhile outside the West Tower contains most of the oldest bits of the building, 12th century.

The wets tower
The East End

If ever you are in this part of the world, and have even a passing interest in churches, it’s well worth popping your head in the door – it’s a lovely church with a nice feel!

2 thoughts on “St Mary’s, Puddletown

  1. Hi Andy, Pleased you enjoyed your visit to this church. Excellent photos as usual but what really struck me was the Union flag flying over the tower. As I am sure you know this would normally be the flag of England it being a C.of E. church. It always amazes me what detail catches my eye in a picture and it is usually something inconsequential. Perhaps it was something to do with the jubilee if your visit was over the holiday.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Ed. Glad you liked the photo’s – never even thought about the flag, and my visit must have been early May, so nothing to do with the Jubilee! I did notice the other day that the main church in Dorchester was flying the English flag, having been flying the Ukraine flag, quite rightly, for weeks! Perhaps it was in the wash!!! All best wishes – Andy.


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