Magdalen Laver - St Mary
The parish church of St Mary Magdalen consists of a nave, chancel, west tower, and south porch, with walls of flint rubble and Roman brick and a wooden tower. The nave was built early in the 12th century. The flints are set in herring-bone courses in the lower part of the walls, with Roman brick was arranged in decorative bands above. It is possible that the west doorway is also original. The thirteenth century chancel is slightly narrower than the nave but there is no chancel arch. The roof of the nave is 15th century and may at some time have incorporated a bell turret. The timber bell tower beyond the west wall of the nave was added in the middle of the sixteenth century. The exterior of the bellfry is weather-boarded. By 1709 these boards were clearly wearing out (should have used more Ronseal - it does what it says on the tin) and in April 1709 it was decided that 'the north side of the belfry shall be new boarded with oak boards'. The old boards were to be used for patching the other sides.There are two bells, one is probably early 14th century and the other is dated 1567. Outside the church immediately west of the south porch is an ornate marble altar tomb of William Cole, lord of the manor, who died on 1 February 1730. Cole had the tomb built before his death. The inscription is on a central panel, flanked by the figures of cherubs. The tomb is enclosed by a heavy iron railing, also ordered by Cole, and there is an achievement of arms on the wall above.