Although Witley Parish Church is adjacent to Witley Court, the church is separate and does not receive any aid from English Heritage. It is, however, an absolute must-see if you are intending to visit the Court. It doesn’t look very impressive from the outside, but the inside is nothing short of breathtaking. I had been told that it was beautiful, but nothing had quite prepared me for the reality.
The church is the only one of its kind in the country to have this baroque style interior with much of the decoration originating from the Duke of Chandos’ chapel in Middlesex.
Lady Foley, one of the owners of Witley Court, petitioned for the present church to be erected on the site of an old one, and it was consecrated in 1735. Originally plain, the interior was transformed by the second Lord Foley in 1747.
The impressive Foley Monument, below, was completed in 1735 and is one of the tallest funerary monuments in the country. It shows the first Lord Foley with his wife and the five children who died before them.
This striking organ is the one on which Handel composed – at least the organ case is the original one, the internal workings were rebuilt around 1859.
It may be small but it is perfectly formed and deserving of a visit – and a donation towards maintaining it.
Some more photos can be found here.