St Mary’s Church

St. Mary the Virgin.

Hardwick church

Situated at the south end of the village, this church, parts of which date back to Saxon times is the parish church of Hardwick and Weedon. We are allied together with Weedon Methodist church in a Local Ecumenical Partnership.

We form part of the Schorne Team Ministry which incorporates 11 local parishes from Upper Winchendon in the west to Grandborough in the north and to ourselves in the south east.

The team is led by the Team Rector–The Rev.David Meakin .


Services are held as follows–
1st. Sunday in the month.      9.30am  Sung Holy Communion.  St. Marys.
2nd.Sunday in the month.      9.30am  Family Service. Weedon Methodist Church.Refreshments afterwards.
3rd. Sunday in the month.      9.30am  Holy Communion. St. Marys
4th. Sunday in the month.      9.30 am  Family Communion. St. Marys
This service also incorporates the Childrens Sunday Club,when all the kids have a great time.
Refreshments are served after all services
5th. Sunday in the month.      9.30am  Holy Communion. St. Marys
Every Thursday at 10.00am Holy Communion is celebrated in the Old Schoolroom in Weedon High Street.

A full list of services is published each month in the Parish Magazine where any changes to the above schedule will be found.
We pride ourselves on being very friendly and welcoming and we look forward to seeing you.

Names to note-

The Rev. David Meakin
The Rectory
Oving Road
Tel : 641606

Please contact David ref. baptisms, weddings, confirmations etc.

Stan Killick
2 Church Path
Tel : 641787

Valarie Rule
3, Lower Road

Before coming under the direction of the Diocese of Oxford in the 15th century St Mary’s, as we know it today, was administered by Lincoln Cathedral. According to Kelly’s Directories the parish church was originally dedicated to All Saints. It serves as Parish Church to both Weedon and Hardwick. For some centuries the patronage of the living has been in the gift of New College, Oxford and until recently the Rectors have been Fellows of the College. The living is now part of the Schorne Team which encompasses a total of eleven parishes.

In 1066 when William the Conquerer embarked on his invasion of England there was a strong Anglo- Saxon presence in this area. Christianity had not long been established and large landowners were starting to build churches. Hardvic or Hardwichas recorded in the Domesday Book had such a landowner, Saxi, an hereditary tenant of the Crown, Edward the Confessor. It is most likely that Saxi built the original church on this site.

The Nave

This is the oldest part of the church and shows evidence of being built in Anglo-Saxon times. The small, semi circular window above the north door is typical pre-Norman style. The tower at the west end of the nave is in two stages, the lower part being in two storeys with the belfry above. Access to the embattled parapet is by a staircase in the thickness of the wall at the southwest angle and dates from 1350-60. The clerestory was added during the 15th century and the original pitched roof was replaced by the current flat one. Existing timbers, except for two tie beams, also date from that period. The building remained almost unchanged in external appearance until 1872  when extensive repairs became necessary and general restoration took place. Comparisons can be made by reference to the framed drawing, made by the architect, which hangs at the side of the north door.

Features of Interest

West end

A rare Jordan water cruet (descriptive note nearby)

Roll of Rectors from 1223 and some photographs of recent incumbents

Tower Room (choir vestry) George the Third Coat of arms, probably fixed to the now non- existent gallery which was removed from this end of the church in 1872

The Belfry

The original six bells were

1                     The oldest, by Robert Newcome dated 1590 which came from his foundry in Leicester (inscribed Robert Newcome made me)

2                     Cast by James Keene in 1622 in his foundry in Woodstock (Inscribed Prayes ye the Lord

3                     Provided by J Briant in 1625 (Inscribed Save our King)

4                     Made by Anthony Chandler at his foundry in 1675 Drayton Parslow which was just behind the present Three Horseshoes public house. (Inscribed Anthony Chandler made me)

5                     Nother bell by J Briant was hung in 1811. (Inscribed Hertford Fecit)

6                     In 1850 a bell was installed by S Seymour, an Ironmonger from Aylesbury.

It is probable that one or more of the bells have been replaced since 1850 but difficult to confirm due to the condition of this part of the tower. 

 South Aisle

A 14th Century circular window, with elaborate tracery in the east wall

Fragments of 14th Century glass in the east window above the side chapel

A restored piscine south of the chapel altar, 14th Century

The south door facing Weedon is modern

Memorial to Sir Robert Lee, who died age 73 in 1616, his wife, eight sons and six daughters

A plaque to Dr John Bridle, who died aged 85 in 1792, and his brother George. The Latin inscription describes John as being “pious, watchful, scholarly and of many kindnesses. He endowed the village school and left over £16000 in his will.

Tablets to various Rectors.

North Aisle

A commemorative brass plaque to Lt. Musgrave Cazenove Wroughton, commissioned into the 12th Royal Lancers in 1913. He died from wounds in October 1914 and is buried in Kemmel churchyard, West Vlaanderen, Belgium. His grandfather, Henry Cazenove of the Lillies, Weedon, endowed this memorial.

The Churchyard

In front of the North door stands the Cross of sacrifice to the men of Hardwick and Weedon who gave their lives in the Great War 1914-18. It was erected with great ceremony in 1922 in honour of the twelve men whose names appear at the base. The cost of £387.1s.6d was met by money raised by public subscription and paid to Stone Masons £350, Architect £25, Printers £10.11s.6d, and buglers £1.10s. Details of the men recorded on the Cross are set out at the end of this chapter.

At the south side of the Tower is a memorial erected in 1818 containing the remains of 247 persons who, it is believed, died in the Civil War battle for Aylesbury at Holman Bridge. There is some doubt about this as no evidence has ever been found of any weapons. The Lord Nugent referred to in the explanation lived at The Lillies in Weedon.

To the southwest of the Tower, side by side are two headstones leaning toward the west. They commemorate two of the three Milburns who, for seventy years, were Parish Clerks and Schoolmasters to the village of Hardwick

A distinctive white headstone of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) stands behind the yew tree to the south of the porch. It marks the grave of Charles Bernard Olliver BEM. He was born in Southwick, Hants on 23 September 1894.  In the London Gazette of 19 May 1925 was the following; “ The King has been graciously pleased to award the medal of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire to the above in recognition of conspicuous devotion to duty in circumstances of exceptional difficulty and danger on board HM Airship R33 on the occasion of the breaking away of the airship from the mooring mast at Pulham, Norfolk on 16 April 1925”. In the Second World War he served in the Merchant Navy on SS Vancouver, the subject of an enemy attack on 21 September 1941, in which he was killed. His body was returned to Hardwick for burial.

In the far southeast corner is another CWGC headstone to Herbert Owen Todd, King’s Liverpool Regiment, 18th Battalion (known as the Liverpool Pals). There were four Pals Battalions in the Ypres salient in July 1917, where it is likely he received severe wounds and was repatriated to England where he died. The many deaths in these Pals Battalions had a dramatic impact on the towns from which they came. Whole streets of husbands, sons and brothers did not return.  Although his last address was Liverpool, his parents lived at Close Cottage, Hardwick and probably why he is buried in St Mary’s churchyard.



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