History

The church in Margaretting can be traced back with certainty to the 12th Century, but there are suggestions that bricks discovered during a restoration in the late 19th Century indicate an earlier Roman structure.

The church is dedicated to St Margaret of Antioch in Pisidia, a popular Saint of the Middle Ages. It was probably started in the 12th century, as the earliest surviving wall dates from this time. There may have been an earlier church on the site, but no trace now exists. The remoteness of the building from the present village is probably because most churches were built adjoining the Manor House or Hall, whether this was in the centre of the village or not.

The first building was simple and oblong in shape; possibly with a circular East wall. The extension to this wall and the building of a south aisle and westward extension of the Nave dates back to the early 15th Century. Other notable additions of the time were the Tower and the porches added later in the same century. The exterior is mainly of the same period.

Substantial restoration work took place in 1869-70, at which time the East wall was rebuilt and the Spire renewed. Internally open pine benches replaced the high-backed pews and the Orchestral Gallery across the west end, which had held an orchestra for accompanying the hymns, was taken down. The Pulpit and the Clerk’s Desk were also removed and replaced.

Further large scale work was completed in 1930 -31 when the Pipe Organ (dated 1881) was moved from the South Aisle and sited above the entrance to the Vestry, and the four Pre-Reformation Bells tuned and re-hung. (A new bell was cast at the ‘Whitechapel Bell Foundry’ in London to join the others, in 1996).

The Roof was also replaced and the Tower and Spire re-shingled at this time. According to the Vicar of the time, the architect retained as much of the old Church as was possible.

Thanks to the love and care of its Officers over the years, the Church remains in excellent condition. A new oak doorway with glass panels into the Vestry and an imaginative pine staircase leading to the Organ Loft from the Vestry, were built and dedicated in the early 1990’s. These won a Diocesan Design Award.