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St Mary's Church, Twyford

Christianised Site

<b>St Mary's Church, Twyford</b>Posted by jimitImage © Jimit Aug 07
Nearest Town:Winchester (4km NNW)
OS Ref (GB):   SU481251 / Sheet: 185
Latitude:51° 1' 21.64" N
Longitude:   1° 18' 50.81" W

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<b>St Mary's Church, Twyford</b>Posted by UncleRob <b>St Mary's Church, Twyford</b>Posted by UncleRob <b>St Mary's Church, Twyford</b>Posted by jimit


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When the Saxon/Norman church was demolished in 1876, it was found that the old tower had been built on a circle of 12 Sarsen stones. They were described as "A Druidical Temple" at the time and the builders blamed the difficulty of working around them as one of the reasons for the cost/time overrun of the new church. This was designed by the famous Victorian architect Sir Alfred Waterhouse (Nat Hist Mus, Manchester Town Hall etc.) and he put the new tower on the site of the old and used the old circle again for the foundations. Nothing to see above ground sadly but another nice example of one religion imposing itself on another.

(Two prone Sarsens by footbridge over the River Itchen and fine ancient clipped Yew to the north)
jimit Posted by jimit
7th August 2007ce


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Twyford Parish Council

'There is an unusual concentration in the village of sarsen stones, including a ring of twelve which form the foundations on which the towers of both the present church and of its medieval predecessor were built, and two close to the wooden bridge over the river at Berry Lane. According to local folklore, the twelve stones originally stood as an upright circle on a mound near the site of the church. A Charter granted in the year 972 AD, in the reign of King Edgar, refers to an 'Egsanmor' (slaughter stone) at Twyford. It is from bits of evidence such as these that the legend evolved of a Druidic religious site having existed in the village in pre-Roman times - perfectly plausible, given the proximity of Bronze Age (ca 1500 BC) and Iron Age (ca 1 AD) settlements on the hill later named after St Catherine and on Twyford Down.'
wysefool Posted by wysefool
24th April 2008ce