St Mary Magdalene, Sherborne, Gloucestershire - 21st June 2005

The church was probably built c.1651 during the construction of Sherborne House, almost certainly on the site of St Mary's monastery.  The lower part of the tower is 14th century and may have been part of the old monastic buildings.

St Mary Magdalene, Sherborne, Gloucestershire, 21st June 2005 - MTC

One of the church bells is also 14th century, and another was made in 1653 by Edward Neale at Burford.

From 1617 to 1961 the Dutton family were patrons of Sherborne church, and there are monuments to the family in the building, including two very elaborate ones in the chancel.  One shows Sir John Dutton in Roman costume, sculpted by J M Rysbrack and dated 1749.  The other, on the north wall, is a memorial to James Lennox Dutton by Richard Westmacott the Elder, of an angel trampling the figure of death, dated 1791.

In 1750 the first Lord Sherborne, James Lennox Dutton, had the church rebuilt, and a spire and vaulted roof added to the church tower.  The church at this date comprised a chancel, nave and a west end gallery.  The tower contained five bells.

The second Lord Sherborne, John Dutton, made extensive alterations between 1820 and 1859.  The nave was altered, gallery removed and the box pews replaces with "open seats".  There was also now a clock in the tower and six bells.

Here is a view looking east towards the sanctuary.  The wooden screen was erected between 1931 and 1934 by Lady Sherborne,  which is also when the choir stalls and new pulpit with sounding board were added.  The Swedish designed light fittings were installed at this date.

St Mary Magdalene, Sherborne, Gloucestershire, 21st June 2005 - MTC

This is the view back west through the rood screen; the organ is on the northwest gallery.

The pews were brought from the former St James Church in Gloucester in 1989, when the church was also re-roofed and renovated.

St Mary Magdalene, Sherborne, Gloucestershire, 21st June 2005 - MTC

The organ was built by George Maydwell Holdich in 1870 and was originally under the west window.  Ethel, Lady Sherborne, had the organ relocated in the present organ loft in the early 1920s.  In 1964 it was restored by a parishioner and a new pedal board fitted.  Extensive restoration was carried out in 1995 when the soundboard was reconstructed.

St Mary Magdalene, Sherborne, Gloucestershire, 21st June 2005 - MTC

The font is situated at the west end.

St Mary Magdalene, Sherborne, Gloucestershire, 21st June 2005 - MTC

Historical notes taken from a leaflet available in the church.

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