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Hurley
St. Mary's Church


Hurley Priory was founded as a memorial to the first wife of the great Norman lord, Geoffrey De Mandeville, in the mid-11th century. It was dedicated by St. Osmund himself. Geoffrey's second wife was also later buried there. A previous building, destroyed by the Danes, supposedly dated back to the time of St. Birinus. Legend says King Edward the Confessor's Queen Edith was buried there, though Westminster Abbey is more likely. The long narrow aisless parish church is the nave of the old Norman priory, though its large 14th century tower, chancel and flanking aisles were demolished at the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Fittings include a nice late 14th century font and a colourful early 17th century monument to the Lovelaces of Ladye Place with unusual forward facing figures of father and son. 13th and 14th century monastic buildings survive nearby and there is a fine tithe barn and dovecote. The Old Bell Inn was the priory guesthouse. The whole village is completely cut-off from the outside world, but is highly popular with riverside trippers in Summer.

Architecture: Almost completely Norman with some12th, early 14th century and Victorian additions.

Monuments: John Lovelace 1558 Reredos; Richard Lovelace 1602 Kneeling figures.

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