St Mary's Church
Tarrant Crawford Church
Not the prettiest of churches, St Maryʼs, Tarrant Crawford seems to be perched awkwardly on the side of the hill as if it had jumped up there when the river flooded, and canʼt quite figure how to get down.
Not an entirely fanciful idea as the name Tarrant (more usually rendered Trent) is a Celtic word for a river prone to flooding.
These days however, like most chalkland streams, the Tarrant is more in danger of drying up than flooding.
The tower, with its odd pitched roof (built to house the smallest of the three bells) looks a bit too big. Either that or the Nave is too narrow, and the windows seem to have been dotted around at random; five on the north side but only one on the south.
Two of the Skeletons
Inside is prettier. But the real glory of St Maryʼs is the 13th and 14th century wall paintings, many of which are in a remarkable state of preservation.
This wall is completely covered with two rows of paintings: The upper row depicts various subjects whilst the lower is taken up with a scene showing three kings or princes out hawking, who come upon three animated skeletons who warn them of the emptiness of earthly rank and riches.