ST MARY’S BRENT PELHAM
St. Mary’s church is Early English and stands on high ground on the edge of the village. The walls are of flint rubble with stone dressings, and the roofs are tiled. The lofty Nave and Chancel were built c. 1350, and the West Tower with the embattled western tower and a small spire about a century later. In the 19th century a South Porch and a North Organ Chamber were added, and at the same time the whole church was heavily restored.
The main feature of interest is the 14th century south door with some good tracery. Many of the fittings were removed at restoration; among those which remain are part of the chancel screen incorporated in the modern tower screen, and an early 17th century brass of the two wives of Francis Rowley.
It is famous locally for an ancient tomb in the north wall. An antiquarian has fleshed out the legend of local dragon slayer Piers Shonks by fixing his name and a date (1086) to a most unusual black marble tomb slab of the 13th century. Symbols of the four Evangelists - angel, eagle, lion, and bull - are carved in relief around a dragon's mouth, symbol of militant Christianity. Surely a fanciful attribution, and yet a huge skeleton has been recovered from this very tomb!