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Newbury
St. Nicolas' Church


A superb early 16th century wool church built by the famous cloth-merchant of history and legend, Jack O'Newbury, and his son. Everywhere this huge house of prayer is embattled and pinnacled and the churchyard has matching gateways. Jack's Smallwood & Winchcombe family badges can be seen throughout the interior on roof bosses and in the window glass. His memorial brass is under the tower. The church was used by Cromwell's troops as a stable, hospital and prison at the time of the 1st Battle of Newbury (at Wash Common) and they destroyed all the so-called "Popish" fittings. Despite this, there remains a splendid Jacobean pulpit and sounding board of 1607. Later features include the "Blue Coat Boy" who advertised the poor box collecting funds for the Blue Coat School and a memorial tablet to John & Frances West, well-known amongst genealogists for the endowment they left for the education of Newbury children at Christ's Hospital. The font cover is enormous and has a chained mechanism to lift it.

Architecture: Complete perpendicular church built between 1500 and 1532.

Monuments: John Smallwood alias Winchcombe 1519 Brass figures; Griffith Curteys 1587 Kneeling figures.

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