Aylesbury Vale in the Mist
Late Again!

Nothing Left but the Tower

Church remains  Stony Stratford

The Monday Photo

Hidden behind a car spares shop in Stony Stratford High Street, all that’s left of this church is the tower.

The rest of the 13th Century church burned in the town’s great fire of 1742. The remains were demolished. Only the tower survived in what’s now a disused graveyard.

The tower would be gone too, if it wasn’t for the local antiquarian Browne Willis. Four years after the fire, he spent nearly £30 of his own money on preserving the 15th Century tower.

He had the roof releaded, the walls repointed inside and out, and the two ground floor arches blocked up. One arch opened on to the nave, and you can see that arch in the photo. The other arch led into the South aisle.

Above the arch in the photo it’s still possible to see the line of the nave roof, and you can also see the gargoyles on the corners of the tower, at the top.

Inside the tower, the floors are gone (perhaps destroyed in the fire), and some of the spiral staircase remains.

The tower can be reached by an alley from the North end of the High Street, on the East side. The alley is right next to the MK Car Spares shop, and opposite what used to be the Cross Keys pub. You can’t get into the tower, but there’s always public access; the alley runs through the graveyard.

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