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Church of England Junior School

St Mary's and the English Civil War

On Tuesday 21st September, year 5 visited St Mary’s church.

On Tuesday 21st September, year 5 visited St Mary’s church.  We went a class at a time and we were looking at the evidence there is at the church of the battle for Basing House during the English Civil war.  This was part of our local history study across a period of time.  What was very clear while we visited the Bolton Chapel (part of the building  but away from the main Nave) was the status and influence of the Paulet family.  They had various roles in supporting the monarchy as treasurers from 1531 until the downfall of the house in 1645.  How the family were able to work for such varied monarchs from Henry VIII to his son, to his daughter “Bloody” Mary and beyond is incredible – they were politically astute for many generations and their longevity showed at the church.  The vault, under the floor, containing the bones of generations of the family and the marble freeze on the wall of Henry, Duke of Bolton and Earl of Winchester who passed away on Christmas day in 1794, really demonstrated the significance of this family who are now all but invisible to our everyday lives.  The children enjoyed seeing the coats of arms and the Civil War helmets that decorate the ceiling line of the chapel.  We are all looking forward now to visiting the site of the house and meeting the English Civil War society in early October.