St. Mary, Felmersham
Seen from the river, St. Mary's church has an imposing position in the lands around it. The west front, central tower and fluted columns at the crossing suggest that the church was built for a grand purpose. It was built by the monks of Lenton Priory between 1220 and 1240. There is no definitive answer to why the monks built the church in Felmersham but it is today regarded as one of the finest Early English Gothic buildings in the region. Many original features are retained. It is no less imposing inside but has proportions and a stillness that invite one to gaze and to contemplate. The first impression is of space and light and it is an impressive sight, with the nave lined with pillars and arches and the central tower supported on four, finely moulded, cathedral-like columns. The 15th century rood screen is the most decorative permanent feature in an otherwise simply decorated interior. It draws the eye through into the chancel where there are chairs for those who wish to pray quietly in an atmosphere of tranquility and peacefulness. On the south side, there is a memorial chapel with a small votive stand for anyone wishing to light a candle.
Standard opening times: The church is open from about 9 am until sundown. There is a midweek communion service on Thursday mornings at 9.30 am. For other services at this church see the Benefice website: www.sharnbrookcofechurches.org.uk which will give up to date information.
Felmersham, Bedfordshire, MK43 7JP, United Kingdom
Grid reference: SP 99099 57944
By car: Felmersham is about 8 miles north of Bedford. Take the A6 towards Kettering and turn left at Milton Ernest, following signs. Pass through the village of Radwell, then as you round the corner into Felmersham you will see the church directly in front of you.
From the north, take the A6 for 7 miles south of Rushden to the round-about sign posted right to Sharnbrook. Travel 2 miles to the centre of Sharnbrook and turn left along Church Road, opposite the bakery. Follow the road out of the village to the first left turn, sign posted Felmersham. You will see the church from the road as you approach the bridge. There is parking beside the green on the riverside or on the road along the south side of the church.
By public transport (rail/bus): There are regular trains to Bedford from
St. Pancras and all points on the line. Buses hourly from the bus station in the centre of Bedford.
On foot: Felmersham is well signposted from surrounding local villages and there are local footpaths along the river from Harrold, Odell, Carlton and Sharnbrook.
There are ramps to enable wheelchair entry through the south door. Please contact us if you plan to visit and would like assistance. There is a wheelchair accessible toilet in the church.
There are facilities for making tea /coffee etc. in the church but please contact us in advance of your visit. We will be happy to arrange for refreshments to be available. The Sun pub, in the village, does not provide meals but there are a number of excellent hostelries in the surrounding villages and a garden centre with tea room at nearby Milton Ernest.
There are splendid views and walks along the river from the bridge and surrounding fields.
Accommodation is available at The Sharnbrook Hotel, Park Lane, Sharnbrook - approximately 2.5miles away - a family run, modern hotel beside the A6.
The church is suitable for quiet days for individuals or groups.
Tel: 01234 781300