Goldington – St Mary the Virgin

Goldington - St Mary the Virgin

The parish church of St Mary the Virgin in Goldington is situated on Church Lane to the north of the A4280 Bedford to Cambridge road. Parking is available in the Church Hall car park to the south of the church.

Patron Saint: St Mary the Virgin

Web Site: St Mary Goldington


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Parts of the church date from the late C13 but modern restorations, building and rebuilding have resulted in a somewhat distorted church with the modern developments overshadowing the traditional church. In its current form the church has a modern nave with the original nave and south aisle now effectively acting as a south aisle. There is a south porch and west tower to the original church layout.

Goldington - St Mary the Virgin. Chancel from the south.

The south side of the original chancel has two windows surrounding the priest’s door. These are both modern two light windows with cinquefoil designs under square heads.

Goldington - St Mary the Virgin. Chancel window.
Goldington - St Mary the Virgin. South aisle and porch.

The east window of the south aisle is of three cinquefoiled lights with perpendicular tracery above under a four-centred arch.

Goldington - St Mary the Virgin. South aisle, east window.
Goldington - St Mary the Virgin. South aisle, south window.

The sole window on the south side of the aisle is of three wide cinquefoiled lights under a four-centred arch with some intersecting tracery above.

The aisle only extends as far as the porch. The clerestory above has three two-light windows all of different forms.

The south porch is slightly unusual in having crenelations following the line of the gable rather than being along a flat parapet. The porch and the tower are the only parts of the church that are crenelated. The porch has a blocked window in its west wall.

Goldington - St Mary the Virgin. Porch.
Goldington - St Mary the Virgin. Nave, south window.

To the west of the porch in the original nave is a modern two cinquefoiled light window with quatrefoil tracery above under a two centred arch.

The tower is of three stages with diagonal buttresses and two-light belfry openings in the upper level.

The tower has an external rectangular stair turret in the south-east corner hard against the original nave.

Goldington - St Mary the Virgin. Tower from the south.
Goldington - St Mary the Virgin. Tower, west door and window.

The restored west doorway is under a two-centred arch with hood mould above.

Above is a restored three cinquefoiled light window under a four centred arch also with hood mould.

The clock only has a face to the west.

Goldington - St Mary the Virgin. Tower.
Goldington - St Mary the Virgin. Nave from the west.

The current nave replaces a north aisle that was itself rebuilt in 1859-60 with the modern replacement dating from the 1955-6.

Whilst built of similar material to the church it does not blend well and adds little to the architecture of the overall building.

High on the west end of the new nave is an emblem of St Mary consisting of a pair of wings and a sword-pierced heart. This symbolism comes from the Annunciation and the prophecy of Simeon “Yes, a sword shall pass through thine soul also”.

Goldington - St Mary the Virgin. Nave from the north.

The nave consists of two levels of windows, six square headed windows above in line with five and a door below.

The western pair of windows, surrounding the north doorway, were resited from the original north aisle and are slightly smaller than the other four. All five being two light cinquefoil windows with a multifoil tracery design under two-centred arches with hood moulds.

Goldington - St Mary the Virgin. Nave windows.
Goldington - St Mary the Virgin. View from the east.

The vestry and boiler room (complete with chimney) obstruct access to the east window of the new part of the building.

The window is a modern interpretation of the tracery of traditional church windows.

The east window of the original church is of three cinquefoiled lights with perpendicular tracery above containing multifoil designs.

Goldington - St Mary the Virgin. Original east window.