Our sectors: Museums & Heritage

St Mary's Historic Church


St Mary's Historic Church Interpretation

Historic Church Interpretation

St Mary's Hartley Wintney

Information Panels in the Chancel

St Mary's was built by Cistercian Nuns

St Mary’s Historic Church in Hartley Wintney is a fine example of medieval church that has stood the test of time.

The earliest mention of the church is from c1200 when it was called ‘Hurtlegh’ meaning stag wood or clearing, but it is likely that there had been a community and church here for several centuries before this. St Mary’s is characterised by the fact that it was ‘built by nuns’ –  hardy Cicstercian nuns from France!

Inca worked with The Churches Conservation Trust to develop a series of interpretation panels and a guided walk around the surrounding land. This was part of a programme to restore the church, which included the addition of electric lighting via carefully placed solar panels, the aim being to preserve this historic church and its stories for future generations.

Interpretation panels
Historic stories were curated and verified by local historians and specialists. Photos were taken at the church and positioned alongside examples procured from other significant churches of the same period. Other images and maps were sourced from local authorities, libraries and historic resources. From this, we were able to create a design concept that was in keeping with the medieval period and sympathetic to the church fabric itself.

St Marys Hartley Wintney Interpretation

Easels in the Chancel

Medieval Interpretation Design

Welcome panel

Historic Church Information

Easel mounted over pews

As St Mary’s is a Grade II listed building and protected by conservation laws, it was not possible to apply any intervention to the church itself. For this reason, any exhibition system would have to be free standing. We resolved to use artists easels and purpose-built stands that could sit across two pews without causing damage. Since the panels are freestanding this also makes it convenient to remove and store the panels during the damp winter months.

Guided Walk Leaflet
A leaflet was also created to guide visitors around the various vistas and significant gravestones around the churchyard. This will allow visitors to understand and appreciate the historic setting, for example, the original tithe strips are still visible in the adjacent fields, as well as the resting places of some key historical figures, Lord Alanbrooke (Churchill’s chief military adviser) being one notable figure.

What our client said

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your help and professionalism on this project; you have done everything we could have asked for.

T. Woods, on behalf of St Mary’s Church and The Churches Conservation Trust.

Call 020 8398 4663 for a no obligation consultation or quotation


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