Pitstone, St Mary's Church
Pitstone, St Mary's Church
St Mary's is essentially a 13th century church, set in an attractive location on the slope of the Chiltern escarpment. The building consists of a nave, north aisle, chancel, north chancel aisle, vestry, south porch, and west tower. Oddly, the chancel is aligned at a distinct angle to the body of the nave, making a noticeable dogleg to the north.
The interior features some excellent early medieval carving on the column capitals of the nave, and a Norman font rescued from an earlier church on the site. The font is carved as a fluted circular bowl on a tapering base, and probably dates to about 1190. The chancel floor has quite a few medieval tiles, assembled here from other parts of the church. The tiles depict a variety of heraldic symbols and allegorical signs.

There is a wealth of Elizabethan and Jacobean woodwork throughout the church, including the early 17th century pulpit with carved and panelled sides. Other interior features are an interesting brass to Lady Neyrnut, an old iron-bound parish chest of unusual design, 15th century pews, and early 17th century wall paintings.

The church is in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust and is longer used for regular worship. Nearby is the historic Pitstone Windmill, the oldest post mill in the south of England, and the Ridgeway long distance path passes close by.