Bletsoe – St Mary the Virgin

Bletsoe - St Mary the Virgin

The parish church of St Mary the Virgin, Bletsoe is situated roughly in the centre of the small village of Bletsoe just to the east of the A6 Bedford to Rushden road.

Patron saint: St Mary


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St Mary is an unusually shaped church in two regards, firstly it is of cruciform design with the nave, north and south transepts and chancel radiating from a central tower and secondly, the chancel and north transepts are not quite on the same alignment as the rest of the structure.

Much of the church has been rebuilt in renovations over the centuries, primarily in the mid C19. All of the windows have been replaced during the restorations although they are believed to be copies of the originals.

Bletsoe - St Mary the Virgin. South porch.

The south wall of the nave has two two-centred three light windows surrounding the porch. These windows have geometrical tracery dating in style from the C14.

Bletsoe - St Mary the Virgin. South wall window.

The west wall has a main window again of three lights in a two-centred arch but with net tracery from later in C14. Above this window is a small round window and arch with flowing tracery. Each of these windows has carved label stops.

Bletsoe - St Mary the Virgin. West end.
Bletsoe - St Mary the Virgin. West window.
Bletsoe - St Mary the Virgin. West window.
Bletsoe - St Mary the Virgin. View from the north-west.

The north wall of the nave has two windows of similar design to those on the south. These windows surround the disused north door.

Bletsoe - St Mary the Virgin. North doorway.
Bletsoe - St Mary the Virgin. North transept, north window.

The north transept has one window to the west and two to the east of similar design of two lights. The north window has a grander three light window with carved label stops and the more ornate tracery.

Bletsoe - St Mary the Virgin. North transept, east windows.
Bletsoe - St Mary the Virgin. East end.

The east window contains three cinquefoiled lights with flowing tracery over.

Bletsoe - St Mary the Virgin. East window.
Bletsoe - St Mary the Virgin. View from the south-east.

The south side of the chancel has two three trefoiled light windows under a square arch. In the angle between the chancel and the south transept is a modern step-turret.

Bletsoe - St Mary the Virgin. Step-turret.
Bletsoe - St Mary the Virgin. South transept, south window.

The south transept has a window to the east hard against the new step-turret and a three light window to the south with geometrical tracery. Above is a tiny quatrefoil light. The south end of the transept clearly shows how the roof of the transept was raised during the various restorations.

The central tower has two single light windows on each face with gargoyles on each corner.

Bletsoe - St Mary the Virgin. Central tower from the south-west.
Bletsoe - St Mary the Virgin. Tower gargoyles.