The History Of St Mary’s Church
The Church is in the centre of the village of Collingbourne Kingston which also takes in the hamlets of Aughton and Brunton.
It is probable that under the Norman Church, dating from the 11th Century, are the footings of an earlier Saxon Church. The oldest features of the Church are the round Norman pillars in the nave; each has a different capital, one with a lady facing the south door. There are four arches to the southern arcade, but only three to the northern one; possibly it had been intended to build a transept there.
The 13th and 14th centuries gave the Church a beautiful chancel arch, with four depths of moulded spandrels and foliage capitals set on Purbeck marble piers. This is a striking feature for a country Church.
An engraving of the Church in 1806 shows the original lower ridge of the nave roof, giving a better proportion to it’s relationship with the fine tower with it’s carved pinnacles and strange gargoyles. At that time there were only four round clerestory windows on each side of the north and south walls of the nave. In the 1860s the roof was raised and the clerestory windows increased to six a side.
The magnificent Conacher two manual, 1210 pipe organ came from Lavenham Parish Church in Suffolk in 1997. It was blessed by the Bishop of Salisbury who then played a piece of Bach on it.
Two recent windows are the Wilson Memorial window on the north side of the chancel, and the tiny Ruth Fisher window in the vestry.
The huge canopied Pile family tomb stands to the right of the altar, and therein lie Gabriel Pile who died in 1626, and his wife Anne.
St Mary’s six historic bells are amongst the finest in England. The old second bell stands in retirement in the south aisle.