Letcombe Regis, St Andrew's Church
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
Of that 12th century rebuilding only the lowest courses of the tower remain, in addition to the font, a simple tub with a decorative band of carving around the rim. Set into the south wall of the chancel is a 14th century priest's door, and the jambs and moulding of the chancel arch also date to the 14th century. The chancel and nave were completely rebuilt in the 15th century, and an upper stage added to the 12th century tower. The original entrance was on the north wall, but in 1863 this was walled up and a south porch added.
The east window contains fragments of medieval glass, mostly 14th and 15th centuries. Therse combine with later Victorian additions to create a curious melange of heraldic and religious symbols including the arms of the Earl of Salisbury and the Monthermer family. The connection of the two families with Letcombe Regis is easy enough to follow; in 1343 the youngest son of the Earl of Salisbury, John Montagu, married Margaret, daughter of Lord Monthermer. One of their daughters, Sybil, became prioress of Amesbury Abbey, who had the living of Letcombe Regis, as described above.
Another historic note about the window is provided by Elias Ashmole, founder of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. Ashmole visited Letcombe Regis church in 1665 and wrote that he had seen in the stained glass two figures, a man and a woman kneeling in prayer, with the words, 'Orate pro animabus Johannis Mermylle et Alicee uxoris ejus', or 'pray for the soul of John Mermylle and his wife Alice'. Mermylle is know to have owned land near Wantage in 1380. Of the figures nothing remains, but the name Mermylle is visible, with a few words of worn Latin text.
A lovely church in a very pretty village, St Andrew's is mostly notable for its heraldic stained glass. To the best of my knowledge the church is usually open daylight hours, and if you come in early spring there are wonderful carpets of snowdrops in the churchyard.
About Letcombe Regis
Address: South Street, Letcombe Regis, Oxfordshire, England, OX12 9JS
Attraction Type: Historic Church
Location: Letcombe Regis is on a minor road 2 miles south west of Wantage
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Letcombe Bassett, St Michael & All Angels Church - 1.1 miles (Historic Church)
Vale and Downland Museum - 1.3 miles (Museum)
Wantage, St Peter and St Paul Church - 1.3 miles (Historic Church)
Childrey, St Mary's Church - 1.5 miles (Historic Church)
Sparsholt, Holy Cross Church - 2.3 miles (Historic Church)
Fawley, St Mary's Church - 3.3 miles (Historic Church)
Ardington House - 3.4 miles (Historic House)
Goosey, All Saints Church - 3.5 miles (Historic Church)
Nearest Accommodation to Letcombe Regis: