St Mary's Church

A focal point of Oakley, St. MAry's Chuch is located near the Twin Bridges at the south of the village


The church of St. Mary is an ancient edifice of stone, in the Early English style, consisting of chancel, nave, aisles, porch and a western embattled tower, containing a clock and 5 bells: under a canopy in the south wall is a mutilated recumbent figure : the chancel retains a piscina, and in the churchyard are the remains of a cross. The register dates from the year 1560. [Kelly's Directory - Bedfordshire - 1898]

There would have been a wooden church on this site in Saxon times; the tower is the oldest part of the present building, its lower section dating from the middle of the 12th century, The two western bays and the chancel were added around sixty years later and extended again in the 15th century.

In 1913 – 1915, the Duke of Bedford restored the timberwork of the roof to the nave and chancel at considerable expense.

The ancient clock in the tower with an hour hand only, is one of the most antique in the county, constructed about 1620, it still keeps the most accurate time.  In the churchyard near the south porch is the base and part of the shaft of a medieval cross, originally used as an outdoor pulpit.


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