About this image
Anglo-Saxon coffin lid of c. 800 AD was found two feet below, with the carving facing down, when the pavement in front of the alter in St. Mary's was removed in 1820. It was over a stone-built vault or grave. There has been much debate and confusion over the interpretation of the scenes. Written on the back of the postcard, the interpretation is of: Washing the Disciples' feet; Crucifixion; Burial of the Virgin, Presentation in the Temple, Descent into Hell, Ascension, Annunciation and Mission.One of the most interesting features is the cross with the 'lamb as it had been slain' which gives it a very early date.
Outside the church, the shaft of a mediaeval cross still stands on what seems to be the base of a much older cross - though the base itself is not ornamented in any way.
Within the church building, a collection of Saxon-age stones are built into the walls of the church, testifying to the existence of a very ancient church foundation.
Although the main fabric of the building is mediaeval, local tradition has always maintained that the first church was founded in the year 653; ever since 1820 there has been conclusive evidence that a church was flourishing here before the year 692.
Pevsner's guide (somewhat dated now) suggests that these are Norman, but the style of carvings suggests that they come from an earlier date. The stones have been placed into the wall during the medieval rebuilding of the church.